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rangifer’s diary: pt. xcix


This diary entry, pt. 99[1] of rangifer’s diary, is a big one. It is so lengthy, in fact, that you, my dear reader, will be tempted to skip or gloss over many parts of it. That’s fine; you can do whatever you want. In fact, you don’t even have to read any of it — you can stop right now! If you have any interest, however, I urge you to consider something: I did not write this in one sitting, and neither do you have to read it in one. I have, indeed, spent many (MANY) sittings writing this entry, so if you read this entry very very slowly, you will still be an order of magnitude faster than me!

Here are a few scattered notes on some of the sections, in case you do not read them:

And, as always, thank you for reading!! 💖


  1. [↑] Not to be confused with pg. 99.

The moving picture

If you’ve read my diary before, then you know that I like to include pictures. There’s still a lot of writing (sometimes, a lot of writing), but I break it up with some goofy images (sometimes, many goofy images).

But there’s something missing. You see, all of the images are perfectly still! Where’s the eye-grabbing motion? How do I make the pictures move?? I need them to go NYOOOOM~

In fairness, back in pt. lxxxv of this here diary, I did include a little animated WebP slideshow displaying my self-portrait of my darksterity knight rusa at various stages of the drawing process. Plus, I occasionally post videos to the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel as part of my diary, although you do have to go over to YouTube™ to watch them[1].

But what’s the fun in that? It’s been like a hundred diary entries now, and only one animated-GIF-like picture?? Hello??? Over on Taimazone, Yunchang already had an animated GIF in her diary by the second entry!! I really need to get with the programme…

Since I already screenrecord my MapleStory window for YouTube™ purposes anyways, I may as well get it together and start clipping some fun little gameplay bits! Right, so, gotta figure out how to do that, I suppose…

There’s just one slight issue: I don’t actually know anything about video! So that’s where my ⚠️BIG FAT DISCLAIMER⚠️ comes in: This is all written from the perspective of me trying to figure out what the everloving fuck I am doing! This should not be taken as advice, and I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m a ✨video guru✨ or any shit like that — I’m just sharing what I learned along the way!


Anyways, first things first. OBS needs to at least be set up to get high-quality screencaptures of MapleStory. In OBS’s settings, I can set the resolution that I’m recording at by going to “Video” and tweaking the following pair of settings:

I don’t want to scale the image before recording it to my filesystem, so these two settings will be set identically. I set them to 1376×774 because that’s the smallest 16∶9 resolution that is large enough to contain the entire game window when running MapleLegends at the highest resolution (“HD2”). That highest resolution is 1366×768, which is a fucked up resolution that isn’t actually supported by anything because it makes no sense. This means that I do end up with video that has very thin black bars on the sides, but that’s fine. Oh, and the framerate is 60⁢ Hz.

We can get to the really juicy stuff by going to the “Output” section of OBS’s settings. Here, I have “Output Mode” set to “Advanced”. I don’t actually know what that does; I just noticed it right now. In any case, the details of how to encode the captured video and write it to the filesystem are all in here. Under the “Recording” tab, the settings look something like this:

The “Type” setting only has one other possible value: “Custom Output (FFmpeg)”. If I set it to custom output, I get alllll kinds of settings that let me tweak exactly what FFmpeg does, and I don’t know how to do that.

Matroska is chosen as a recording format because it appears to be the standard container format for pretty much anything involving video, or involving multiple media in a single file. I don’t pretend to understand it, but it basically does everything and is super powerful. Cool.

Because, at most, I only ever want to record the game’s audio output, I never need more than one audio track.

The choice of encoder here is important: the basic idea is that I want to use VA-API to make my GPU do all of the work. This is more energy-efficient, allows me to exploit what my GPU is actually good at, and means that I can use my CPU for everything else. However, using VA-API means that I’m stuck with H.264 (a.k.a. AVC, a.k.a. MPEG-4 Part 10, a.k.a. the single most widely-used video coding format in the known universe), because my GPU is just slightly too old to (de/en)code VP9 with VA-API, and definitely too old to (de/en)code AV1 with VA-API. Technically I think I can do H.265? But I don’t know how to do that, and that’s probably for legal reasons… So H.264 it is.

I have no idea what “Custom Muxer Settings” and “Automatic File Splitting” are.

“Ellesmere [Radeon RX 470/480/570/570X/580/580X/590]” is just how it refers to my GPU. The “Profile” setting is set to the most common profile and also the highest-quality one available here: “High”. The basic idea of profiles is that you can use lower-cost profiles — e.g. the “Constrained Baseline Profile” — when you need (en/de)coding latency to be really low, and/or you’re using really low-end hardware like a microcontroller or whatever. Here, we definitely do not care about any of that stuff; we just want better quality. The “Level” is again set to the highest available (viz. “5.2”). because I’m the only one who’s going to be decoding it, so I don’t have to worry about a hypothetical decoder not supporting level ≥5.2, or however that works.

Ahh, “Rate Control”…[2] So, “CQP” stands for “Constant Quantisation Parameter”. This basically means that each region of video that is compressed gets compressed by the same amount — that is, it loses the same amount of quality. Larger values of the QP mean more compression, i.e. more loss, i.e. lower quality. The result is this: the bitrate (number of bits used to store each second of video) will vary depending on the actual contents of the video. This is because some video content is more compressible (vaguely, lower entropy) than other video content. Parts of the video that have little or no motion will compress very well, resulting in low bitrates, and parts of the video with high levels of motion and lots of visual noise will compress poorly, resulting in higher bitrates.

When we compress video, what we really want is to maximise a certain ratio: quality∶bits. Naturally, what “quality” means is psychovisual and, ultimately, subjective. But hopefully, the meaning of this ratio is still clear: we want to get as much visual quality out of a given number of bits; or, on the other side of the same coin, we want to store/transmit a video at a certain level of quality, by using as few bits as we possibly can. The general concept that CQP is based on is ideal for maximising this ratio. Because we incur the same amount of loss regardless of the video content, we get a result that does not noticeably fluctuate in its visual quality over time; and, more importantly, we get our compression method to do as much compression as it’s capable of, and no more.

Contrast this with the very different regime of CBR (“Constant Bit Rate”): with an unchanging bitrate, the encoder has no choice but to heavily compress video regions of high entropy, resulting in noticeably reduced visual quality of these regions; while at the same time, barely compressing video regions of low entropy, resulting in wasted bits. This means that CBR is effectively the “worst of both worlds”. Why would you ever use CBR, then? Well, it’s simple: you get exactly the bitrate that you ask for! This is potentially useful for livestreaming, where you want to maximise the predictability of how many bits you’re sending over the network. With that said, we do have better technology for these kinds of things. We really care more about the maximum bitrate than we do the minimum, so there are various modes that will cap the maximum bitrate whilst using better regimes (in comparison to CBR) for determining the actual bitrate over time; these may be referred to by terms like “VBV” (“Video Buffering Verifier”), “capped CRF” (“capped Constant Rate Factor”), “ABR-VBV” (“Average Bit Rate-Video Buffering Verifier”), etc.[2]

There’s just one problem: CQP is not actually what we want. We want CRF (“Constant Rate Factor”)! The basic idea of CRF is the same — a constant quality, thus maximising quality∶bits — but it’s… better, somehow. I don’t pretend to understand the difference, but:[2]

Unless you know what you’re doing and you explicitly want this, it is suggested [to] not use [CQP]! Setting a fixed QP means that the resulting bitrate will be varying strongly depending on each scene’s complexity, and it will result in rather inefficient encodes for your input video. The quality will be good if you set a low enough QP, but in contrast to CRF (see below), you may waste space, or you have no control of the actual bitrate.

  • Good for: Video encoding research, or if you have no CRF mode.
  • Bad for: Almost anything else.

I’ve highlighted the “if you have no CRF mode” bit because that’s my situation: I guess VA-API (or whatever) doesn’t support CRF, so CQP is the next best thing. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Of course, CQP and CRF are similar from my point of view, especially because they both ask me to specify some ✨magic number✨ that quantifies the lossiness. And yet, this number has no particular meaning; it may be interpreted differently by different encoders, and it corresponds to some kind of “visual quality” (or rather, lack thereof), whatever that is. Some sources claim that a CQP (or CRF?) of ≈18 or so is about the threshold for being visually lossless (i.e. visually indistinguishable from the original). I’ve been a tad bit greedy and gone for 16, because I can, and because screencapturing a pixel-art game like MapleStory is super weird. Because the video content is composed largely of animated pixel art, “every pixel counts”, thus making “visually lossless” a slippery concept at best.

And I have the keyframe interval set to “automatic” because I have no opinion on where the keyframes are placed; I just want the encoder to decide, for its own benefit, what is the best placement.

Audio capture

Although audio is usually my focus (I certainly know a heck of a lot more about audio than I do video), in this case, it’s of secondary concern. This is especially true for the animated-GIF-like video clips that I want to include within my diary entries, because they will almost never have audio at all. Nevertheless, it’s worth looking at audio capture briefly, as it is still important (e.g. for YouTube™ videos).

When capturing — and re-encoding — game audio, it’s worth considering the “original” source of that game audio. As far as I know, all audio in the MapleStory[3] game files is stored using MP3 at a sample rate of 22.05⁢ kHz, and a constant bitrate (CBR) of 80⁢ kb⧸s. This is, to put it simply, “very bad”. The use of MP3 is understandable given the age of the game, and the wide compatibility of MP3 (read: basically any device can decode it natively) as a result of it being essentially the first production-usable lossy audio coding format. Regrettably[4], AAC was not released until December of 1997, which I guess was a bit too late. Due to the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem, a sample rate of 22.05⁢ kHz is theoretically enough to encode frequencies below 22.05∕2 = 11.025⁢ kHz. However, in order to allow for a transition band when low-passing the input to be sampled (in order to avoid aliasing artefacts), the actual maximum frequency that remains intact is more somewhere around 10⁢ kHz〜11⁢ kHz. Because the human hearing range is 20⁢ Hz〜20⁢ kHz, this means that we’re effectively missing an entire octave of material. The more usual sample frequency used with MP3 is 44.1⁢ kHz, which is sufficient for human hearing. 80⁢ kb⧸s is also really low; to put it in perspective, the usual threshold for being “transparent” (aurally indistinguishable from the original) is dependent on the MP3 encoder (nowadays, LAME is quite good), but even 320⁢ kb⧸s (the maximum for MP3) can lack transparency (albeit only slightly) under some conditions. More generally, MP3-encoded music gets to a “listenable” (albeit still crummy) quality at around ≈160⁢ kb⧸s or so; this is likely why MapleStory audio uses exactly half this bitrate, as its sampling frequency is already cut in half anyways. And finally, the rate control regime is CBR, which is bad for basically the same reasons that it’s bad for video! MP3 offers a VBR (“Variable Bit Rate”) regime that achieves a considerably better value of quality∶bits, whilst still capping the bitrate and achieving only a narrow band of average bitrates.

So, we’re basically capturing garbage here. This means that modern audio coding formats will easily overkill the shit out of old MapleStory audio. We still need to be a little bit careful, though, because actual gameplay will result in the mixing of many audio sources (many sound effects, plus background music if you have that on), which can require more information to encode than any single original audio source does.

OBS seems to insist on using AAC for audio coding. This can probably(?) be configured by using the “Custom Output (FFmpeg)” option that I mentioned above, but again, I don’t fuck with it. Instead, I choose a sample rate of 44.1⁢ kHz, and a bitrate of 320⁢ kb⧸s, and call it a day. AAC is good enough, especially at that bitrate.

In order to isolate the game audio — that is, exclude other audio sources like my own music, notification sounds, or whatever — I redirect MapleStory’s audio output to my GPU. I’m not physically using my GPU’s audio output (i.e. I don’t have it hooked up to a loudspeaker, nor anything like that), but I use this virtually by asking OBS to only capture audio that is sent to my GPU.

And finally, although I originally store the captured audio on disk as AAC, this is certainly not my choice of audio coding format for final products — be they little clips in my diary (hypothetically), or YouTube™ videos. Instead, the lossy audio coding format of choice is always Opus. Opus is not only widely-supported (it’s over a decade old now), but it achieves the best quality of any lossy audio coding format in existence, and it is a completely free & patent-unencumbered format. So I’m going to take a moment here to soapbox a bit and give a little PSA:

⚠️ For digital audio encoding, you should use FLAC (a lossless format) if possible; otherwise, for lossy encoding, just use Opus! ⚠️

Before anyone gets on my ass to tell me that there are legitimate use-cases for other audio coding formats, I am aware. If you are working with some very old technology that doesn’t support Opus but does support MP3, then sure, use MP3. Whatever. For VoIP, we should note that Opus was designed with VoIP in mind as one of its use-cases, and indeed Opus is the format used for Discord™’s VoIP. Nevertheless, Lyra is also a good candidate if all of the following apply:


Replay buffer

In OBS’s settings, we can navigate to “Output ➡️ Replay Buffer” to enable the replay buffer and set limits on how much video can exist in the replay buffer at any given time. Because the replay buffer is held in volatile RAM, and only written to disk when we ask it to do so (because something that we wanted to record happened), we need to put limitations on the replay buffer so that we don’t just run out of memory. I currently have it set like so:

Then, in OBS’s main window, under “Controls”, there is a button labelled “Start Replay Buffer”. This is separate from — but may be used at the same time as — “Start Streaming” and “Start Recording”. So, generally, if I am doing something that I know I might want to clip, I just open OBS and turn on the replay buffer; no need to start recording (or streaming, for that matter…).

Then, in OBS’s settings, under “Hotkeys ➡️ Replay Buffer ➡️ Save Replay”, I have it set to “Numpad Add”; that is, the + key on my numpad. Then, if I have my replay buffer active, and something of interest occurs, I just strike that key to save it to disk.

Clip editing

Assuming that I’ve already captured a clip via my replay buffer, and saved it to disk, I now have raw footage. That’s great, but not useful to publish in its current form. I still need to manipulate it in a few ways:

So… how in the got dam hell do I do all that? As it turns out, the answer is simple, but also not so simple: the answer is FFmpeg.

Cropping spatially

A quick WWW search revealed a way to crop video spatially with FFmpeg.[5] Simply pass the following pair of arguments to ffmpeg, somewhere between the input and output files:

-filter:v 'crop=w:h:x:y'

Of course, you have to supply your own values of w (width of the RoI), h (height of the RoI), x (𝑥-coordinate of the top-left corner of the RoI), and y (𝑦-coordinate of the top-left corner of the RoI). The coordinate space has the origin — that is, (0, 0) — at the top-left of the input video, with the 𝑥 values increasing rightwards, and the 𝑦 values increasing downwards.

Cropping temporally

In order to crop temporally, we can ask FFmpeg to start reading the input at a certain timestamp, and also to stop reading the input after a fixed amount of time. Using the example from above of starting at 00:33 and going for 6 seconds, we would pass these arguments to ffmpeg:

-ss 00:00:33 -t 00:00:06

I put these arguments before the input file (i.e. before -i), but I don’t know if that matters. I supply time values in the HH:MM:SS format that you see above, with the additional possibility of putting a decimal separator in the seconds value, and one or more digits after the separator, to express fractional seconds. For example, if we decided that we needed to shift the beginning (but not the end) of the temporal window back in time by a quarter of a second, then we’d change the above to:

-ss 00:00:32.75 -t 00:00:06.25

Re-encoding video

We also have to decide how to re-encode the video, now that we are destructively editing it.


Originally, I was going to use the same container format that I use for still images: WebP. Similarly to GIF, WebP supports moving images in addition to its use for still images. Unlike GIF, however, WebP is not approaching four decades old, and so it is much more sophisticated. Whereas GIF stores animated images by just encoding each frame separately as effectively its own GIF, WebP takes advantage of having all of the frames in one place by compressing them together. Moreover, WebP supports lossy compression in doing so, allowing it to achieve acceptable bitrates for what is effectively video data.

Importantly, using WebP would allow me to treat moving images in the same way as still images: using <img>[6], with all of its implications. So, I figured out that I can get FFmpeg to re-encode to WebP for me like so:

ffmpeg -i raw-footage.mkv -an -quality 90 -compression_level 6 output.webp

The highest value for -compression_level is 6, so naturally, that’s what I use. This is going to be published, so I don’t care how long the encoding takes; I just want the smallest possible file. This re-encoding only needs to be done once at a high level of quality; when quickly iterating to find the right parameters for -ss, -t, -filter:v, etc., I can just use crappy compression that is extremely fast.

The -quality parameter is a little more difficult to set. It can range from 0 to 100, and 75 is the default. Lower values are lossier (the opposite of how CQP & CRF work). For most inputs, honestly, 90 is probably a little too high. Nevertheless, it exists to be tweaked.

The -an argument just discards the audio. This is probably redundant given that the output is WebP, but I specify it anyways.

Note that the reason why FFmpeg knows what I’m asking for is because of the output filename: it ends with .webp.

AV1 + WebM

Although WebP has the interesting & useful property of being an image format, it’s just not ideal for video. Ideally, we would be using whatever the gold standard for video coding is, and putting it into a container that makes it playable by web browsers.

So… what is the “gold standard”, then? I’m going to argue that, at the time of this writing, the answer is AV1 (“AOMedia Video 1”). I am aware of the existence of VVC (“Versatile Video Coding”, a.k.a. H.266, a.k.a. ISO/IEC 23090-3), but VVC doesn’t count due to its restrictive patents/licensing, which means subpar adoption & no real usability for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, AV1 is totally open, totally royalty-free, and all that shit; there are already many free software projects out there[7] directly related to encoding/decoding/etc. AV1. Moreover, because AV1 is old enough now (about five years), it has already been adopted by:

Plus, it has been long enough now that hardware support is widely available — albeit not yet widespread. And of course, importantly for my purposes, web browser support is already pretty good: Firefox has supported it since version 67 (2019-05-20), & Chrome™ has supported it since version 70 (2018-10-15). Because Chrome™ supports it, that means that Chromium supports it, which means that Chromium-based browsers like Brave, Edge™, Opera™, etc. also generally support it. The weak point is, naturally, Safari™. Actually… I think that might not be true anymore? Safari™ version 16.4 was released literally three days ago at the time of this writing, and I believe that it’s the first Safari™ version with AV1 support…? Sweet. So I don’t have to tell the Safari™ users that they’re screwed! 😌

In any case, the point is this: for the highest quality, the freest & most open format, the best technological support, etc., the current choice (again, at the time of this writing — see you in a decade when this is no longer true ☺️) is AV1. So that’s what I’m choosing.

Of course, AV1 is just a video coding format. We also need a container to put it in! For that, we of course have Matroska. Unfortunately, although Matroska does indeed “do it all”, being all-powerful has its drawbacks. In particular, no web browser is going to just accept random Matroska files, because there are simply too many possible things that could be in there. Luckily, we’ve already had a solution to this problem for a dozen years now: WebM (I assume that the “M” stands for “Matroska”). WebM is a restricted profile/subset of Matroska that is widely supported by web browsers (and many other things), which normally holds VP8 or VP9 for video (and Opus for audio, of course). Strictly speaking, putting an AV1 stream into a WebM container is TeCHnIcaLLy “nonstandard”; nevertheless, it is the obvious & straightforward thing to do, and has been a de facto standard for pretty much the entire time that AV1 has existed.[9] Moreover, because WebM is just a subset of Matroska anyways, we’re not doing any crimes. Consider the fact that you can rename a valid WebM file called foo.webm to foo.mkv, say “it’s a Matroska file now!”, and not change its validity whatsoever…

So there you have it: AV1 (+ Opus) + WebM. The ultimate format that web video technology has to offer.

How does this change the way that I invoke ffmpeg? Using the example from the “WebP” section above, we end up with something like this:

ffmpeg -i raw-footage.mkv -an -c:v libaom-av1 -crf 28 -cpu-used 0 output.webm

You can see that I’ve specifically opted to use libaom (the reference implementation) here. SVT-AV1 is probably more widely-used, due to being better at quick encodes that make good use of multiple CPU cores. However, SVT-AV1 does this by giving up some compression efficiency, thus losing quality. libaom is slower, but ideal for my use-case where I am encoding just once, offline, and don’t really care how long it takes — I just want the best possible quality.

libaom is somewhat slow, but we can make it even slower! You can see that I’ve passed -cpu-used 0 to ffmpeg above, which — contrary to its name — causes the highest possible CPU usage. -cpu-used can take on values from 0 to 8, with 0 being the slowest & best quality, and 8 being the fastest & worst quality. By passing -cpu-used 0, I am causing the encode to take like… 20 minutes, up to maybe even an hour. Seriously. It takes fucking forever. Actually, I’m not sure how long it takes, as that presumably depends a lot on the input, but you get the idea: you invoke ffmpeg, and you go have some lunch, do something else, maybe have a nap, and come back later.

The CRF value (the value passed to -crf) is similar to the CQP value for VA-API’s H.264 encoding that I discussed in the “Screencapture” section above. It seems that a value of 23 is what is generally considered “visually transparent”, and high-quality encodes seem to pick something like 26〜28? Not sure. I’ve chosen 28 as a safe default, although I do increase it if the video is too large. The total possible range of values is from 0 (actually lossless) to 63 (shitty).

In any case, there’s actually one last thing that we’re missing here: two-pass encoding. The FFmpeg documentation has this to say:

In order to create more efficient encodes when a particular target bitrate should be reached, you should choose two-pass encoding. Two-pass encoding is also beneficial for encoding efficiency when constant quality is used without a target bitrate.

That’s exactly what I’m doing: CRF with no target bitrate. So, in an attempt to get even moar coding efficiency, I will want to use two-pass encoding. Changing the above example to be two-pass instead of one-pass, we get:

ffmpeg -i raw-footage.mkv -an -c:v libaom-av1 -crf 28 -cpu-used 0 -pass 1 -f null /dev/null && \
ffmpeg -i raw-footage.mkv -an -c:v libaom-av1 -crf 28 -cpu-used 0 -pass 2         output.webm

Alrighty, that’s quite a mouthful. You’ll notice that the first pass appears to… not actually do anything. We specify -f null, where -f allows specifying the output format. Plus, the output file is /dev/null. So what’s the point? The special sauce here is the -pass flag, which, when set to 1, causes FFmpeg to emit a special intermediary file full of information that it harvested on the first pass. Then, when -pass is set to 2, it reads from that special file to help it do the actual encoding part. The first pass takes barely any time compared to the second.

The result of running such a command is already usable: it can be played in almost any web browser (provided that you’re not using an outdated version), and mpv has no problem with it either.

Re-encoding audio

But, what if instead of specifying -an, we actually want to use the audio? This means re-encoding the audio, as well. To do this, we can replace -an with something like the following:

-c:a libopus -b:a 96k

This will ask ffmpeg to use libopus for re-encoding, producing Opus audio at 96⁢ kb⧸s. 96⁢ kb⧸s should be enough for my purposes, assuming that the audio only contains in-game sounds/music (see the “Audio capture” section above). We don’t need to pass in any other fancy arguments, because -vbr on, -compression_level 10, and -application audio are already the defaults. Phewf.

Discarding useless metadata

There’s just one last step before the final product is all ready to go! Getting rid of metadata!! Fortunately, we can also use FFmpeg for this. Unfortunately, it’s not at all obvious how one would go about using FFmpeg for this. Fortunately, StackExchange has got my back once again. What a rollercoaster of emotions.

The basic invocation will look something like:

ffmpeg -i output.webm -map_metadata -1 -metadata 'creation_time=1970-01-01T00:00:00+00:00' \
       -c:v copy -c:a copy -fflags +bitexact -flags:v +bitexact \
       -flags:a +bitexact output.cleaned.webm

(Followed by mv output.cleaned.webm output.webm, of course.)

Oh my! That’s a lot of stuff!! That being said, I do admit that -metadata 'creation_time=1970-01-01T00:00:00+00:00' is excessively paranoid…

In any case, running this tends to shave something like half of a kilobyte off of the file size, so it’s definitely… working… Of course, half a kilobyte is insignificant in terms of saving space/bandwidth, but it’s technically better than nothing, and I feel a little bit better about whatever metadata is still left in there.

I’ve put together a kind of a script to help me automate most of this stuff. Don’t worry, I’m not typing it all out every time!! I doubt that it’s worth sharing, but if anyone is interested, I don’t mind open-sourcing it. :P

Putting the video into my diary

Now that I have a nice little *.webm file, I have to actually put it into my diary. Just like images, video files are put next to the diary’s text (, and committed as part of the diary entry. Unlike images, however, videos must be embedded by literally using the video element. For videos that I want to appear like animated GIFs, something like this suffices:

<video muted autoplay loop>
<source src="output.webm" type="video/webm">

Specifying autoplay and loop gets the animated GIF vibe where the video plays without the user’s interaction, and just keeps looping over and over. Furthermore, by not specifying the controls attribute, the video won’t show a GUI over the top with things like a play/pause button, a progress bar, volume controls, etc., thus further enhancing the animated-GIF-ness. The muted attribute is technically redundant (there’s no audio in output.webm anyways, or else I wouldn’t be tryna use it like an animated GIF), but I specify it just in case some browsers refuse to acknowledge autoplay when muted is not specified.

For videos that aren’t intended to be played like animated GIFs, and are more like traditional videos, the above can be changed (for videos with no audio) to:

<video muted controls preload="metadata">
<source src="output.webm" type="video/webm">

For videos with audio, muted can be removed (obviously). Notably, we add controls, do not ask for the video to be looped automatically, do not ask for it to be autoplayed, and we give the preload="metadata" hint to tell the browser that it doesn’t need to fetch the entire video unless the user actually tries to play the video; instead, it can just fetch the metadata (e.g. duration, resolution, etc.).

Aaaand that’s about it! I think that the little video clips will add a lot to the diary, and I hope that you feel the same way! ❤️

Footnotes for “The moving picture”

  1. [↑] Or, you know, just use yt-dlp, like a normal person…

  2. [↑] See Werner Robitza’s Understanding Rate Control Modes (x264, x265, vpx) (2017-03-01; archived).

  3. [↑] Particularly “older”, pre-Big-Bang (pre-BB) versions, which are naturally less technologically advanced than newer versions of MapleStory.

  4. [↑] Obviously, I don’t actually recommend using AAC. But, two+ decades ago, it may have been your best bet, given that MP3 was not a free format either. MP3 was not substantially patent-free in the EU until 2012, and not in the U.S. until 2017. AAC achieves considerably better quality for a given bitrate, in comparison to MP3. An even better candidate would have been Vorbis, but Vorbis was even later to the party, having been released in 2000.

  5. [↑]

  6. [↑] I’m writing Markdown, so the actual syntax looks something like…:

    ![alt text](image-path.webp "title")

    …But this corresponds to, and gets translated into, HTML anyways.

  7. [↑] Including, but certainly not limited to:

  8. [↑] 爱奇艺; ⟨àiQíYì⟩; Standard Beijing Mandarin /ai̯˥˩ tɕʰi˧˥ ji˥˩/; lit. “beloved wonderful art”.

  9. [↑] See MDN’s documentation on the subject.

“Odd jobs”? “Area lock”? “Ironman”? — strange!

If you’re a long-time reader of my diary, then you might already be fatigued of me speaking philosophically on such subjects as, you know, odd jobs. Nevertheless, as I continue to play MapleStory, I get to come across ever newer misinterpretations & muddled thoughts related to MapleStory jobs — odd or otherwise — and other tangentially-related subjects. Generally, these fundamentally confused ways of thinking are not actually “new”; indeed, in almost all cases, I have already addressed them in some previously-published entry of my diary. Nevertheless, it may be the case that those previously-published remarks are left buried beneath a sea of other words, and some might be mere footnotes or brief asides.

In this entry, I want to talk about a particular confusion that I encountered in Suboptimal alliance chat: why isn’t my perma-2nd-job viclocker on the odd-jobbed rankings?


When using the term “odd job” (and derived terms like “odd-jobber”, “odd-jobbed”, etc.), the emphasis is on the latter half: “job”. The game that the PC exists within certainly places constraints on what the PC can do & what the PC can be, and some of those constraints (particularly, on what the PC can be) restrict what their job can possibly be. To give a few concrete examples:

In spite of this fact, the PC’s job does not inhere in the version of MapleStory that they exist within. This is because, although the game itself (i.e. the game as it exists before the player discovers it) sets forth the rules, parameters, and material objects that define & circumscribe the game universe, the player ultimately chooses, for their own PC, how to define the aptitudes & abilities of their character per se. This is fundamentally an egocentric act, because the player is making these choices for their own PC alone, in a way that does not define the game for anyone else. These choices will, of course, still affect how other players view the PC and choose to interact with them, but does not define the fundamental, hard limitations on how they are permitted to interact with other PCs and on what game content they are at all able to do (particularly, “able to do” in principle). To give a few concrete examples:

All that is a lot of words to outline the point that I want to make, in airtight detail. But really, we can make it much pithier if we only seek to give the reader the right intuition:

If a vicloc spearman is an “odd job”, then how does it contrast with a vicloc dagger spearman?[2] Furthermore, if being a level ≥71 perma-2nd-job viclocker makes you odd-jobbed because you “refuse 3rd job advancement”, then surely being a level ≥200 perma-4th-job MapleLegends character makes you odd-jobbed because you “refuse 5th job advancement (another job advancement that is also very real and exists in MapleStory)”!

Of course, the answer is that vicloc is just a game; it does not define the PC’s job. Thus, within the game of vicloc, one can choose one’s job, odd or otherwise. In this case, an ordinary vicloc spearman (with no other qualifications added) is probably just a non-odd vicloc spearman. On the other hand, the vicloc dagger spearman is very much odd; dagger warrior is a classic odd job, so if that’s not an odd job, then surely nothing is.

Calling all level 200 MapleLegends characters “odd-jobbed” might sound laughable. If it is, then that same laughability applies to all level ≥71 vicloc characters being “odd-jobbed”, as the principle is the same: we are judging the character on the basis of a totally different version of MapleStory.

The confusion probably also arises thanks to the terminology: “odd” is just an ordinary English word that is used by virtually all English speakers, and also just so happens to be used in MapleStory jargon. There are absolutely loads of synonyms or near-synonyms: “strange”, “weird”, “peculiar”, “unusual”, “atypical”, “curious”, etc., etc. Because the meaning is so broad and, as an adjective, it can be applied to… just about anything, there’s a temptation to de-emphasise the “job” in “odd job”, and just apply it to anything that seems “odd” — really, anything even vaguely unusual. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t apply the word “odd” (without the “job” necessarily immediately following it) to things that are unusual, in MapleStory or otherwise! That’s just normal English!! Heck, if you like, you can start calling viclocked, osslocked, ironman, etc. characters “odd-game” characters, or whatever. Go nuts — it makes perfectly good sense to me.

As far as actually crisply defining “odd job” goes, I already talked about that plenty within my “Taxonomising odd jobs” series! Nevertheless, it’s worth recapping just the bare basics of what makes a “job”. Note that this is not the basics of what an “odd job” is, but rather, just some basic aspects distinguishing “job-y stuff” from “stuff fundamentally unrelated to jobs”:

Notice that all of the above are natural extensions of how classes are defined by the game itself. “Job” is a less restrictive notion than “class”, as it allows for the possibility of things that act like class in that they define the aptitudes & combat abilities of the PC, but that nevertheless are not baked into — and/or are not explicitly named by — the game.

Perma-2nd-jobness may not be odd on its own

Putting aside area locks like vicloc, and “metallic” game restrictions like ironman, we might still wonder which classes (or rather, grades) are inherently odd-jobbed when made permanent. For some cases, this is easy: it is uncontroversial to say that perma-0th-jobbers (a.k.a. permabeginners; e.g. islanders) are always odd-jobbed, and similarly uncontroversial to say that perma-1st-jobbers (e.g. permarogues) are always odd-jobbed as well. But what about perma-2nd-jobbers? And potentially perma-3rd-jobbers, as well…?

From the classical perspective, this is easily answered: perma-2nd-jobbers (& perma-3rd-jobbers, & perma-4th-jobbers, &c.) are never odd. The classical perspective looks something like this:

Perma-2nd-jobness may be odd on its own

Nevertheless, synchronically, from the perspective of a game like MapleLegends that has 3rd job (and 4th job), we can make a simple argument: class is very much a “job-y thing” (as per the “‘Odd’” section above), and an odd job like permabeginner is defined by its refusal to job-advance at a time when one normally would job-advance; so then, surely any job that refuses to job-advance at a time when one normally would job-advance is an odd job?

In the usual way that this argument is phrased (like how I phrased it above), there is a subtle error in the logic. It’s true that permabeginners are defined by their refusal of some job-advancement; however, they are considered odd not because of a general “refusal to job-advance” in no particular way, but specifically because of a refusal of 1st-job-advancement. Indeed, this is the actual specific job-advancement refusal that they are defined by to begin with. Thus, there’s strictly no way to generalise to other job-advancements merely on that basis, unless you’d like to admit some sort of shady “induction” principle, or whatever…

Nevertheless, I actually want to make an argument for including perma-2nd-jobbers and perma-3rd-jobbers in the arena of “odd jobs”, in some appropriately broad sense, on MapleLegends (again, putting aside area locks, ironman, etc., for the time being). The argument basically goes like this:

Needless to say, this does still hinge on “refusing to job-advance at a time when one normally would job-advance”, so e.g. a level ≥71 perma-2nd-jobbed viclocker is not even vaguely “odd” in this sense (unless they are also playing an odd job, of course), as they are not at a time when one normally would job-advance — “3rd job” doesn’t even exist!

Areaman? Ironlock?

And finally, I want to move on to making yet another distinction — one that is actually orthogonal to the original problem of “why isn’t my perma-2nd-job viclocker on the odd-jobbed rankings?”. In the “‘Odd’” section above, I said:

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t apply the word “odd” (without the “job” necessarily immediately following it) to things that are unusual, in MapleStory or otherwise! That’s just normal English!! Heck, if you like, you can start calling viclocked, osslocked, ironman, etc. characters “odd-game” characters, or whatever. Go nuts — it makes perfectly good sense to me.

Indeed, if we want to, we can make a very general categorisation of “odd games”; that is, versions of the game that are intentional restrictions by the players, rather than being baked into the game’s programming. Or, in some cases, they may be baked into the game (e.g. enforcing ironman rules at the game server level), and the player intentionally chooses to play that restricted version, instead of the “standard”, unrestricted version of the same game. Either way, the emphasis is on universal restrictions that are intentionally chosen by the player, and that create a new version of the game (i.e. a new version of MapleLegends, or of MapleSEA, or of…).

This is an extremely broad definition! It eliminates most things, yes, but still leaves so much. Rather than talk abstractly about the whole thing, I want to draw just a single distinction that is present in how we usually think of some particularly common types of “odd game”. The emphasis here is on “how we usually think of”; this is essentially an argument of linguistic description, more so than prescription. The basic distinction is between:

I have seen people confused by the fact that we have representatives of both of these broad categories within the Suboptimal alliance. Obviously, merely being in the same alliance doesn’t actually indicate any particular relationship, but still, there are good reasons to be confused by the distinction. In particular, metallic games are defined by their strict trade and/or party restrictions. A given area lock almost always has some kind of strict trade and/or party restriction(s) as well, so that’s a pretty big similarity!

Nevertheless, the reason why we don’t think of area locks as “metallic” is actually quite simple: area locks make use of metallic rules only as a means to preserve the area lock. The area lock comes first & foremost, whereas the party and/or trade restrictions merely serve to keep it locked. For example, if vicloc allowed trading with outlanders, then viclockers would immediately have almost trivial access to most items in the game! What’s the fun in that, if your area lock actually has almost nothing to do with the material things that you interact with on a daily basis?

It’s true that, if you compare vicloc to “group steelman” of an appropriately loose variety, vicloc looks pretty dang similar… if you conveniently ignore the area restrictions. Of course, the point is that we can’t ignore the area restrictions, as those are the single most important aspect. Thus, a PC who dedicates themselves to an area lock of their choice, and a PC who dedicates themselves to a metallic game of their choice, pan out very differently in practice: their priorities are completely different, and the reasons that they each choose their game are (mostly) orthogonal to one another.

Footnotes for “‘Odd jobs’? ‘Area lock’? ‘Ironman’? — strange!”

  1. [↑] I’m using the strict definition of “PQ” here. Pieces of content that are loosely referred to as “PQ”s — e.g. “GPQ (a.k.a. SPQ)” — are sometimes doable by ironman PCs.
  2. [↑] I use this example for its realism: I actively play a viclocked dagger spearwoman named d34r, and she is level ≥71.
  3. [↑] Like in my “Taxonomising odd jobs” series, we consider “no weapon” to be a weapon type of its own.
  4. [↑] In a context like vicloc, or old-school MapleStory from before the release of 3rd job, Final Attack skills are relevant here. This might seem weird, because we usually don’t care about these skills when 3rd job exists, but they do exist, and are important in “older” contexts.
  5. [↑] Mages are a bit weird because their weapon type is less strictly relevant, but the point is that both Magic Claw and Energy Bolt are completely elementally untyped. No fire, no poison, no ice, no lightning, no holy, & no heal.
  6. [↑] The purpose is really more trial than it is dual, but I’m intentionally relegating the unnecessary detail to this footnote. Flow is a very old guild (maybe the oldest continuously-active guild in MapleLegends…?), so it also serves a purpose of legacy: some of its members have just… never left.
  7. [↑] To be contrasted with those who apply as a joke…

DK rev. 3

In pt. xc of this diary, in the “Berserkr” section, I talked about a big change to the Berserk (“Zerk”) skill introduced by MapleLegends. Berserk is, traditionally, a passive skill of the dark knight (4th-job) class, which causes the dark knight’s damage to be aftermultiplied[1] by factor of two whenever their HP is below a certain fraction of their MAXHP (and otherwise, it does nothing, i.e. an aftermultiplier of 1). The change discussed in “Berserkr” caused the aftermultiplier to vary continuously (indeed, even more strongly, it was differentiable) with the HP value of the DK; thus, they could benefit from lowering their HP arbitrarily low, and also still benefit somewhat from Berserk even at relatively high HP levels.

Overall, the change to Berserk was a very welcome one, as it made Berserk more dynamic & interesting once the DK got used to it, giving a meaningful damage boost — as opposed to simply “DKs do [this much] more damage now, have fun…” — to the class. Since then, the staff of MapleLegends have been collecting feedback from players in preparation for overhauling the class, followed by the full release of a larger overhaul over a month ago! Thus, there has been concentrated attention on the DK class for some time now, and this overhaul is not necessarily the last, nor does it preclude small future tweaks either. I am referring to the current version of DK — including all 2nd-, 3rd-, & 4th-job skills, thus referring to the entire throughclass by synecdoche — as “DK rev. 3” (or even more loosely as “Berserk rev. 3”). This is to be contrasted with DK rev. 1 (Berserk curve as a Heaviside step function), and DK rev. 2 (Berserk curve is made continuous for the first time), as well as, of course, future revisions.

I’m somewhat of a DK player myself, as I actively play a darksterity knight by the name of rusa, as well as a vicloc dagger spearwoman by the name of d34r. As a result, I have fully experienced all of these changes, in many contexts, in real time, as they have been released. This section exists as a “brain dump” (or, perhaps, “brain landfill”…) for me to dump my thoughts about DK rev. 3, hopefully as I have thought them whilst playing MapleLegends. Naturally, I have had a lot of thoughts, so I am basically guaranteed to unintentionally omit at least a few of them. Nevertheless, I will do my best.

I will try to organise this tangle of thoughts into a tripartite regime of “the good”, “the bad”, & “the ugly”: the good things, the not-so-good things, and the truly ugly — sometimes seemingly (albeit not actually) irreparable — demons that haunt the DK as it exists in servers that have 4th job (e.g. MapleLegends).

The “skill issue” prelude

But first, I need to get something out of the way. Dark knight is well-known for being a class that takes a very much non-trivial amount of player skill to play well. Thus, when there is a flaw — or perceived flaw — in the class, and that flaw is at least tangentially related to the actual execution (and thus the player’s skill), there is a temptation to dismiss it with: “skill issue”. This is a prime example of a thought-terminating cliché, partly because it is somewhat of a meme phrase, so half the time, it’s sarcastic. Although investigating whether or not a problem is actually just “you’re doing it wrong” is obviously worth doing, there are also more subtle — but equally important — reasons why “doing it wrong” doesn’t always explain things:

The good

The bad

The bad prelude: Egg Zerking & Power Elixir Zerking

This “prelude” section discusses active Zerk exploits that are not themselves “good” nor “bad”. Nevertheless, they serve as a good prelude to the actual bad stuff.

The bad (for real this time)

The ugly

The unforgivably ugly

Throughout most of the discussion on DK rev. 3 here, I’ve been using lists to separate out the individual points that I want to explain, as a method of textual organisation. The following point (or group of points), however, deserves its own place within “The ugly” section, because it is fundamentally different in nature from all points outlined in all of the sections above, and also — in my personal opinion — the most important.

DK rev. 3 was preceded by a public statement of goals and a call for player feedback. The result was a pretty big overhaul, as discussed here. This is not to imply that rev. 3 was supposed to “get it right” (whatever that means) the first time; that is, not to imply that rev. 3 is the be-all end-all. Nevertheless, the set of changes made by rev. 3 is enough to be indicative of what the ultimate goals generally & vaguely look like: building up the DK’s DPM & survivability. These are not bad things (who doesn’t like surviving, and also dealing some damage?), but are ultimately completely orthogonal to what would be necessary to actually “fix” DK as a throughclass.

In the past, I have played clerics/priests (both of the STR variety, and of the perfectly ordinary INT variety), because I thoroughly enjoy the wide-ranging utility of their large skillset, and in particular, how that utility relates to helping my party. MapleStory is an MMOG, and as a result, I expect that I can at the very least choose to put some focus (albeit not all) on how my PC directly & materially assists & co-operates with others — even in the heat of combat. When I made my darksterity knight rusa, I had never played a warrior before (I know, shocking), and although I had a few different motivations, by far the largest such motivation was to protect my party. I later, after hitting level 120, found out that dark knights exist in a realm of fantastical irony: they are designed to be fiercely protective (HB, IW, Power Crash), and yet they are constantly pushing themselves to the brink of death. This is the fundamental condition of the dark knight, and I want to argue that the former aspect (fierce protectiveness) is at least as important — if not more important — than the latter:

I want to argue not just that “what’s in a DK” is something very special, but more broadly, that “what’s in a party composition” is something even more special. The fundamental original design of MapleStory classes, as conceived by Wizet, makes this very clear. By just taking a look at the classical design of the warrior classes[9], we can see a miniature of this image:

We could, if we were so inclined, continue on in this way for the non-warrior classes, highlighting the things that make them unique and contribute to party composition. In doing so, we would see that although each class has its strengths, they also have their weaknesses — both contributing to their unique qualities. These weaknesses are not vice; they are virtue. The virtuousness comes from the way in which these classes fit together. For example, I affectionately like to refer to hunter, crossbow(o)man, and assassin (& gunslinger) as “the Fantastic Three (Four)™” because of their characteristic squishiness. These classes share a virtue: in some situations, they will not survive if not protected. Whereas the MapleLegends player says “wash more”, I say “protect more”.

Rather than allowing the pieces to fit together, changes in the spirit of DK rev. 3 (and HP washing, HP challenges, etc.) insist on enlarging each piece until it individually eclipses the puzzle. This is a kind of “solution” — after all, the playing board is certainly covered now — but not to the problem that we actually care about.

As a result, each class & each PC becomes more island-like: the more that any class can kinda do anything, the more that we fill & enlarge the waterbodies that separate those classes, divesting the classes of meaningful associations with one another. By focusing on the self-DPM & mere survivability of the DK (or of any class, for that matter), to the exclusion of other concerns, the more that we encourage this state of affairs. The true DK player is not envious of being “two-thirds as good as a nightlord, which is pretty good, I guess”; rather, they are envious of the version of themselves that is more consistently a unique & vital member of their party.

Footnotes for “DK rev. 3”

  1. [↑] Aftermultipliers come after DEF, and after skill multipliers (e.g. Spear Crusher, SE, etc.); they are effectively the last thing taken into account in damage calculation. This is good for benefiting from SE, but bad for dealing with WDEF.

  2. [↑] Rev. 3 Zerk now has an active component that is an undispellable buff with a duration of 30 seconds, and a cooldown of 60 seconds. Whilst the buff is active, any source of damage (excepting map damage, e.g. falling rocks or fall damage) lowers the DK to 1 HP — or, if they were already at 1 HP, the DK is slain. Achilles, WDEF, MDEF, etc. do not apply during active Zerk. In exchange, the DK — regardless of their actual HP value — deals damage as if their HP was below 10% of their MAXHP, which is the maximum possible Zerk damage. Furthermore, during active Zerk, avoidability is disabled, causing all incoming attacks to be guaranteed to hit the DK.

    “Passive” Zerk remains similar to rev. 2, albeit with a tweaked aftermultiplier curve.

  3. [↑] There appears to be some confusion surrounding this mechanic. It is perhaps most similar to Mana Reflection, except that it applies to all sources of damage (not just magic), has a 100% success rate, and only reflects 100% of the damage at max level. Because DKs are warriors, it has been compared to Power Guard, but this is misleading. PG reflects touch damage only, and is better known as a defensive & mobility skill: PG reflects that 40% of touch damage and that damage doesn’t affect the warrior (thus, they take only 60% of the touch damage that they would otherwise take); furthermore, PG dampens the amount that the warrior is knocked back upon being struck, acting as a kind of weak Stance. AotB is totally unrelated to Energy Charge.

    AotB’s damage reflection happens before Achilles is taken into account, thus increasing the outgoing damage. That outgoing damage is also a flat HP removal; even a monster that is weapon cancelled, and magic cancelled, and has infinite WDEF & MDEF, takes all of the damage as-is.

  4. [↑] The new version of Dragon Blood is a buff that lasts for 120 seconds and has a cooldown of 180 seconds. For the duration of the buff, the DK is healed every 4 seconds, and each “tick” of healing is for 5% of the DK’s MAXHP (1.5k per tick, assuming 30k MAXHP). Unlike the rev. 2 (& rev. 1) version of AotB, the healing does not stop when the DK gets above a certain HP threshold.

  5. [↑] Other than Power Crash, which is certainly useful in CBPQ stage 3, but is not usually considered a “debuff”.

  6. [↑] In this context, I mean to say that DKs have many active buffs (HB, IW, Booster, IB, Stance, MW), and also to say that their usefulness to their party is buff-heavy as well, due to HB & IW. Moreover, dark knights benefit more from SE than any other warrior class, and naturally benefit greatly from SI as well.

  7. [↑] There is an argument to be made (although I don’t think that I’ve made it quite yet… I really should…) that DKs make The Best™ (whatever that means) sed targets in HT, other than shadowers. Of course, the “…other than shadowers” bit might dampen the impact of such a statement, but I still think that it’s important, insofar as always delegating a given task to one (1) single class to do in just one (1) single way feels stuffy, in addition to being somewhat unfortunate for practical reasons. I’m reminded of the notion of bus factor.

  8. [↑] Or, alternatively, you don’t get Resurrection, because your 30k HP DK used it.

  9. [↑] In this gloss, I will smooth over the original mistakes in details or implementation, most of which were fixed later, or else have easy & obvious fixes.

  10. [↑] The MapleLegends player reading this will scoff, but the emphasis is on “classical”: classically, Rage was designed to be very valuable indeed, guaranteed to increase the DPM of any physical attacker. That is, before the addition — and/or proliferation — of other buffs muddied the waters.

  11. [↑] The experienced WK/pally player is aware that this skill is less than useful before Advanced Charge is acquired. I consider this a minor implementation mistake, although Nekksawn regrettably decided to “fix” it by adding an entire extra job advancement…

  12. [↑] Oh, Threaten… One of the greatest skills in all of MapleStory, left in obscurity due to repeatedly poor implementations. See the “Assets” section of pt. xciii of this diary.

Well, I mean… it feels good…?

Hi, hello, welcome. Remember the “No physician can cure this ailment” section from the previous diary entry? Well, I honestly wasn’t planning on making it into a series, but it’s getting a mini-sequel anyways…

WARNING!: Sex stuff!! (Don’t worry, no images…)

Now, I’ve been on MapleLegends for a long time now, and I’ve seen many a smega in my time. A surprisingly large number of these have involved men being pegged. This would be basically fine — other than being a bit overly sexually explicit for something that all online players[1] are going to see — if it weren’t for the fact that an alarming number of these very smegas paint the practice as unsavoury, embarrassing, or worse.

As far as I can tell, there are actually a handful of different — albeit often related — directions that this is going in:

  • The homophobia angle: Allowing anal penetration is associated strongly enough with gay men (actually, more broadly, MSM, including e.g. bisexual men, although such nuance is not usually found in this context) that any man who allows it — or “worse”, enjoys it (but we’ll get to that later) — must themselves be gay in some(?) capacity, which is “bad” in some way. The actual level of homophobia depends greatly on the context and the speaker; the word “homophobia” likely conjures up imagery of religious zeal in opposition to homosexuality, but what we’re dealing with here is more of a “casual” homophobia, if you will. More on the level of no homo and its siblings (pause, etc.).
  • The “effeminate” angle: Because pegging is fully penetrative[2], and because the strap-on is obviously intended to be phallic, the practice is compared closely enough with PIV sex that the man in this context is taking the supposedly “woman’s role”. Thus, the man is spiritually emasculated, “embarrassingly” divesting him of his masculinity.
  • The sexual education failure angle: Sometimes, sex ed fails to do its job. Or sometimes, you’re just not paying attention in class. It happens. As a result, a rather shocking number of people are actually unaware that the prostate — a key component of the male reproductive system in mammals — is largely (although not entirely) responsible for male sexual pleasure/orgasm due to anal stimulation. I am really not kidding when I say that I saw someone in MapleLegends mention “prostate” by name in the context of pegging, to be met by gentle mocking for even knowing what a prostate is.
  • The sexual assault angle: The other angles listed here generally imply that men, especially straight men, will not want to be pegged. Thus, pegging is frequently portrayed as unwanted and thus as tantamount to sexual assault. Obviously, any sexual touching that is unwanted is exactly that, but the implication is specifically for pegging, and… basically all pegging. Thus, it stigmatises the sexual practice, and fails to consider that it can also be a source of sexual pleasure and orgasm.

The point is this: there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a harmless sexual activity.[3] People with male reproductive systems have prostates, and that’s okay! Also, if you are a man having sex with a woman — regardless of in what way — you can still be straight! In fact, wanting to have sex with women is a pretty key aspect of being a straight dude!! And if you’re not straight, that is also super okay!!! Furthermore, none of this makes you even one bit less of a man, unless you want it to. You determine your gender expression, and if someone tells you that that’s not true just because you like it when your sexual partner touches you in a certain way, then they’re full of shit.

Footnotes for “Well, I mean… it feels good…?”

  1. [↑] Excepting those with sufficient taste to mute smegas with @megaphone
  2. [↑] Stricter definitions of “penetrative” only allow for body parts to do the penetrating; I am using the broader definition here.
  3. [↑] In fact, some people have even been known to have sex just for pleasure. Wow! No fucken way.

Welcome lronman!

It is time! For the addition of a ✨new✨ guild to the Suboptimal alliance!! Welcome lronman!!!:

[lronman] guild joined in your guild alliance.

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: [lronman] guild joined in your guild alliance.


Jonathan: loll

BonkHammer: OwO

cervid: hehe

lronman’s guild emblem ✜

As its name implies, lronman (led by Jonathan[1]) is dedicated to ironman characters — as discussed in the “Areaman? Ironlock?” section above. In short, this means that members of lronman do not trade nor party with other characters — not even fellow guildies. The intent of the ironman mode is simple: everything that your character possesses (levels, equipment, skills, etc.) is earned solely through your own efforts on that character (i.e. the character is “self-made”). Likewise, the intent of the guild is simple as well: to give players of ironman gameplay modes — and of closely related modes — a central place to organise themselves socially. Although there is indeed some irony[2] here — isn’t the whole point of ironman to be asocial? — playing an ironman mode does not actually preclude sociality, of course. Ironman characters enjoy most (albeit not all) of the modes of social interaction that non-iron characters enjoy normally: conversation through the various in-game chats, conversation out-of-game, faming, sharing grinding maps[3], running expeditions (which notably do not require partying), etc., etc.

lronman’s entry into the Suboptimal alliance serves to further the guild’s social goals. Although Suboptimal is (or perhaps, was), on some level, based particularly in odd jobs[4], we (viz. Jonathan, myself, & likely many other Suboptimal members) believe that the self-imposed gameplay restrictions of the iron(wo)men are spiritually aligned with the defining gameplay styles of other guilds who are already members of Suboptimal — even if those self-imposed gameplay restrictions are mechanically unrelated to the other gameplay styles in Suboptimal. The basic ethos, the fundamental psychological impulse, is at least similar: the simple realisation that the game (viz. MapleStory) can be whatever you decide to make it, and that such decisions have virtually unlimited impact on gameplay-in-practice — & thus, the making of what are morally “new games”, cut from the whole cloth of the proper videogame itself.

lronman was inducted into Suboptimal after Jonathan submitted an application according to a new format that I devised for this purpose: “Guild application to join the Suboptimal alliance!”. In the application, Jonathan explained that the origins of ironman in MapleStory are actually from Old School RuneScape (OSRS), which has a notion of an “Ironman Mode” that basically mirrors our MapleStory conception, but with RuneScape mechanics instead.

Furthermore, it’s worth expanding on the phrase “closely related modes” that I used above. Although the essential archetype of ironman is as simple as can be — no trading & no parties of size >1 — the reality of ironman is more sprawling than such a pithy definition would suggest:

You may have noticed by now that the guild name is lronman (Lronman), not Ironman (ironman). I guess “Ironman” was already taken LOL. So, you know, I like to pretend that it’s pronounced /ˈɛl.ɹɒnˌmæn/… F3

In any case, lronman is still in its infancy, and Jonathan plans to build it up with some forum posts, smegas, & so on. If any of this ironman — or… “metallic”, if you will — stuff appeals to you, then you can contact Jonathan in-game[1], or ask for an invite to the lronman Discord™ server! Hope to see you in green chat!!

Footnotes for “Welcome lronman!”

  1. [↑] Also known in-game as Gumby, Kimberly, daggerknight, j0hnny, etc.

  2. [↑] Pun intended.

  3. [↑] This might seem weird, but the truth is that sharing a grinding map with one or more other characters doesn’t actually require partying! Without the party mechanics, there is no party chat, no EXP sharing, no buff sharing, no Healing one another, etc. Nevertheless, the bare reality of sharing the map is still maintained: the characters still share an “all chat”, and more importantly, the monsters killed by one character help to drive the respawning of other monsters elsewhere in the map, to be killed by other characters.

    Back when JoblessMS was a thing, this wasn’t even an uncommon practice there, as the ironman mode was built into the game (enforced by the server, rather than by an honour system), and ironman characters were fairly common — partly to being sanctioned by the game, & partly due to the perks that they got. Because ironman characters were, by their nature, isolated from the rest of the characters in the game, perks given to them were effectively guaranteed to not upset game balance elsewhere.

  4. [↑] Suboptimal started as just two guilds: Oddjobs and Flow. The connection of Oddjobs to odd jobs is obvious, and the original reason for allying with Flow was their strong permabeginner membership. Although Flow is not (and never has been) a permabeginner-only guild, the association with permabeginners — and thus, a fortiori, with odd jobs — was enough.


Rejoice, for it is the day of Valentine!! Just kidding, we’re past that. MapleLegends, however, maintains the ❤️💕spirit of romantic love and affection💕❤️ by holding a V-day event anyways. So it is!

If you’ve been around for some past V-day events on MapleLegends, then you probably already know the drill. For example, one traditional Valentine’s activity is the collecting of roses! Besides their utility as a couple of fine common (meaning no class requirements) polearms, collecting one of each colour — yellow, red, blue, & white — allows completing a quest for the excellent Ring of Passion! It might be merely a temporary ring, but it lasts for quite a while, and the stats, SPEED, & JUMP are pretty joocy.

Of course, the problem is that you have to actually farm the roses. Expecting to get one or two Rings of Passion for my viclockers, I first headed to Lorang Lorang Lorang, as the Lorangs there drop red roses. Plus, I could maybe get the Lorang card set for my vicloc clericlet d33r:

A Lorang card for d33r~

Naturally, d33r is not great at farming these things — they are neither undead, nor weak to holy magics — so I farmed on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r instead. After a while, I eventually did find one!!:

d34r finds a Red Valentine Rose!

I then later realised that I had like two or three vicloc red roses left over from last year’s V-day event… Oups…

Of course, I would want some outland Rings of Passion as well. Because the new beta test of the “HP challenges” system requires killing a whole bunch of Deep Lūdibrium monsters (see the “Le chapeau de « l’érudit champignon orange »” section below), it was natural to farm roses down there. So that’s exactly what I did; in particular, on my pugilist tarandus, since she’s kinda my “questing character”:

tara @ Spirit Vikings

You can see me in the image above at WPoT4, slaying some Spirit Viking (SV) booty in the hopes of red roses. In addition to the potential for roses and the furthering of my beta-test HP quest, Lūdi monsters drop cards as well, so I made sure to fill up the monster books of tara, rusa (my darksterity knight), & alces (my daggerlord) as I went.

At SVs in particular, I did a considerable chunk of my grinding in a party with shadower Harlez (VigiI, Murhata) and F/P STR mage GTOPDEFENDER (rogueinvogue, Wandissimo):

tara @ Spirit Vikings w/ Harlez & GTOPDEFENDER

Much to my delight, I found out that the HP challenge is not designed to be SoloStory! It actually helps to do it in a party!

After a lot of grinding, though, I still had no red roses to show for it, and now I had more SV cards than I knew what to do with. It was time to move on, so I headed over to Lost Time to vanquish some Master Death Teddies (MDTs) instead, in the hopes of yellow roses:

tara @ MDTs

After a lot more grinding, I reached about the same point that I had with SVs: no yellow roses to show for all my MDT kills, but more MDT cards than I knew what to do with. Again, time to move on — this time, to WPoT3, killing Ghost Pirates (and the occasional annoying Buffoon) in the hopes of blue roses:

tara @ WPoT3

After even MOAR grinding, I was getting so much EXP that it was time to just finish off the level real quick at Himes:

tara hits level 119~!

Okay, back to WPoT3 for more suffering in the company of seafaring ghostbandits…

tara finds a Blue Valentine Rose @ WPoT3~!

Oh, my god. Finally! A rose?!?

i want to thank the academy

Transcription of the above image

tarandus: it only took 6 hours of grinding over 3 days but i did it
i got my first rose

SwordFurbs: x.x

tarandus: i want to thank the academy

Alright, well, if it took that much time & that many resources to get one (1) rose, then things are looking pretty bleak. Nevertheless, I trudged on by exploring some other regions (mostly not in Lūdi) for rosehunting on alces… starting with SVs again (lol):

alces rosehunting @ Spirit Vikings

With these long-dead Vikings still unwilling to relinquish the many red roses that I know they’re hiding from me, I thought that maybe some more casual, lower-level, monsters might be less stingy. Mayhaps the Krips[1] at The Seaweed Tower will have my red roses…?:

alces rosehunting @ The Seaweed Tower

After completing both the Krip and Mask Fish card sets, and giving a handful of spare cards to tara, I was no closer to my second rose. Ugh.

Maybe Magatia has the red roses? I farmed the Reinforced Mithril Mutæs at Area A-1 of the Alcadno Research Institute for a while:

alces rosehunting @ Area A-1 of the Alcadno Research Institute

Still nothin’. And I really do not need any more of the damn cards. Well… I mean, I did get a red rose when hunting at Lorang Lorang Lorang on d34r, right? Let’s try that:

alces rosehunting @ Lorang Lorang Lorang

Okay, seriously? How many hours — days? — weeks?? — is it going to take to get a second rose‽‽‽

I don’t know, maybe like half of my characters are just cursed or something. Perhaps rusa can find a white rose at Area B-3 of the Alcadno Research Institute…?:

rusa rosehunting @ Area B-3 of the Alcadno Research Institute

Yeah, I don’t know what I expected, to be honest.

In my desperation, I headed back to the Clocktower to kill some Chronos, on alces, at TPoT2, in the hopes of just a sign… anything… please……

alces rosehunting @ TPoT2


In the end, I used two or three roses that I had saved from last year, exported a red rose from vicloc, and bought the rest of the roses on the FM, just to get a ring for rusa and a ring for tara. Yes, that is two (2) rings, grand total, across all of my characters. Well… better than absolutely nothing, I suppose…

Luckily, roses are not the only thing that the V-day event has in store. I did the Romeo & Juliet questline on both tara & alces, to get the fancy chairs — including the Amorian Loveseats!:

tarandus finishes the Amorian Loveseat questline~

alces finishes the Amorian Loveseat questline~

And, of course, what would Valentine’s be if there were no Chocolate Baskets? The GM buffs that fit in your pocket! On my STR bishop cervid, I did some trio CDs on basket with STRginner extraordinaire Taima (Yunchang, Boymoder, pilk, Girlmoder) and dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv)…:

cervid, Taima, & inject trioing CDs on basket

…During which, I was reminded of the horrors of wooden crates in Taipei 101, as a character who uses basic-attacking as a primary mode of combat:

I forgot the horrors of wooden crates

Transcription of the above image

cervid: hzavent [sic] grinded this map on this char in a hot min
forgot the horrors of wooden crates

I also did a handful of baskets at CDs on my I/L archmagelet cervine, duoing with dagger dark knight daggerknight (Jonathan, Gumby, j0hnny, Kimberly)…:

cervine duoing CDs w/ daggerknight

…During which, I hit level 127~!:

cervine hits level 127~!

……And level 128!!!:

cervine hits level 128~!

Just two more levels for a big weapon upgrade! 😌

Footnotes for “Valentining”

  1. [↑] Not to be confused with Crips

Le chapeau de « l’érudit champignon orange »

In the previous section, I mentioned the beta test of MapleLegends’s “HP challenges system”. Although this initial test includes a small array of different quests that may, or must, be completed in order to complete the beta challenge as a whole, most of them are basically trivial and/or uninteresting — with the exception of the “slay 10k Deep Lūdi monsters” quest.

Although this quest is certainly much more efficiently completed by teaming up with others and killing Deep Lūdi monsters of your choice in a party, I ended up completing probably a little more than half of the 10k kills solo, on my pugilist tarandus. And along the way, I got, like, one rose! LMAO!!

In any case, this quest is perhaps more fun that it might seem at first glance. It is just “kill a metric shitton of monsters”, but two key ingredients give it a bit of spice:

In the end, I finished my last few hundred kills by duoing DGPs with marksman Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx):

tara finishes 10k Deep Lūdi kills

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: [Challenge] You have completed the challenge: ‘Defeat 10,000 monsters in Deep Lūdibrium.’! It has been recorded in your diary.

tarandus: quest d

Level1Crook: nice

Of course, that also left one or two trivial parts of the challenge, like using 100 return scrolls:

Beta test challenge completed!

And… it looks like I’m all finished! Time to head back to Lith Harbour to see Rosa again:

Lemme see your diary…

Transcription of the above image

Rosa: Hi tarandus! How are your adventures going? Lemme see your diary…

Rosa: Wow, these stories are fascinating! You sure did a lot, this whole time.
I appreciate you coming back to me! So, do you feel grown? Have adversities given you a thicker skin? There’s a lot more that life has in store for you, but you definitely conquered a milestone already.
Keep doing your best.

[reward]: Orange Mushroom Scholar

Oh, how sweet! I had no idea that Rosa was a fan of my diary! [': Time to put on the fancy hat…

tarandus is an Orange Mushroom Scholar

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: You have gained an item (Orange Mushroom Scholar)
By completing the Challenge quest, you have gained 0 HP, for a total of 8512 HP.



Welp. My pugilist tarandus is level 119 now… You know what that means! It’s time for a level 120 party and advancement to the rank of ✨buccadeer✨!!

Here’s a screenshot of tara hitting the big 120 at her party!:

tara hits level 120!!!

I’ve put together footage of tara’s party, which you can watch here, on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel!! The soundtrack is tarandus’s Theme, which is discussed at length in the “tarandus’s Theme” section below, and licenced under the CC BY-SA 4.0+.

I talk about this within my speech in the above video, but I can’t emphasise enough how unreal it is for me to finally get a character to become a buccaneer!! tara is honestly like my 9th brawler at this point, so I’m really excited to be able to play her so much, and to experience the bucc lyfe! With a shield!!!

Speaking of bucc lyfe, level 120 — perhaps regrettably — does not absolve me from The Grind™. So here I am, back at it again, duoing Himes — this time, with marksman Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx):

Level1Crook & tara @ Himes

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: tarandus — Lv.120 Buccaneer — Total EXP: 1,136,547 (3.82%)
EXP Per Hour: 13,638,540 — EXP Per Minute: 227,309

tarandus: jesus
13.6m eph o_o

…And again, but this time with dagger dark knight daggerknight (Gumby, Jonathan, j0hnny, Kimberly):

tara & daggerknight @ Himes

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: tarandus — Lv.120 Buccaneer — Total EXP: 820,329 (2.76%)
EXP Per Hour: 9,843,900 — EXP Per Minute: 164,065

……And once again, this time with dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv)!:

tara & inject duoing Himes

I even did a tiny bit of solo Himes, to push past those level barriers…

tara hits level 124~!

tara hits level 125~!!

Oh, wow. Level 125 already? It’s worth taking a look at what this means for tara’s skills! After all, the thrust of this whole “buccaneer” job advancement thingy is the skills, right? At first, the idea is simple: a few early single points in each of these core skills:

Then, I pretty much get to level 11 SI ASAP. Level 11 is the turning point at which SI goes from lowering the beneficiary’s attack speed category by 1, to lowering it by 2. After level 11, you’re just increasing the duration (and reducing the cost).

With level 11 SI and level 1 TL, I have both of my core utility skills — the skills that buccs are perhaps most known for, thanks to their effects on party members — in a perfectly usable state. Yes, at some point I want to max TL, but that “just” reduces the cooldown from 49 minutes to 20 minutes — something that I want for Horntail at level 155, but that is not super important right now. Thus, it is time for more attacks: a single point in Super Transformation (ST) to enable the use of Demolition (Demo)!

Demolition is the premier single-target attack for buccaneers, but its use is limited by requiring the bucc to be Super-Transformed to use it. Doing a “Demo-first” skill build, as I have chosen here, is far from being the only option. A more grinding-focused bucc would prefer to level up DStrike earlier, to help them with their multi-target attacking. Personally, throughout my 3rd-job experience on tara, I always felt that my multi-target attacks outpaced my single-target attacks. Energy Blast feels really strong for a 3rd-job skill, whereas Energy Drain… well… it’s very okay. I’m tempted to damn it with faint praise, but really, I think that Energy Drain was designed to supplement the marauder’s — and honestly, probably more the buccaneer’s, for better or worse — skillset with a quick Flash Fist upgrade that is efficient resource-wise, above all else. Drain has the clear advantage of healing its user, whilst simultaneously not consuming any MP nor HP. When you’re 3rd-job — especially at the levels where you first start to really max out your energy skills — it feels really cool to be able to charge your bubble and kinda just… stand there, all stance’d up, laying into a boss with rapid attacks from a decent distance, naturally regenerating most or all of the HP that you lose from taking damage. But also, it really just doesn’t do that much damage, relatively speaking.

So, I think that my ability to grind is passable enough. Certainly enough to go back to Himes or whatever, because that’s what I’ve been doing for like 30 levels now! And, you know, maybe after 30 levels, I want a change of pace!! Let’s see Demolition in action!!!:

Pretty cool, right? I mean, the animation is definitely weird. I kinda just… yeet myself into the void, completely disappearing from the map for like an entire second. But, you know, disappearing from the map has its perks. Particularly, this skill has quite a few iframes; you’ll notice that none of Capt. Latanica’s attacks in the above video manage to connect with me at all. No, not even a “MISS”! I’m just fucking gone!!

It’s not all fun & games, though. Demolition also has quite a few not-so-i-frames, so I still get hit reasonably often. Plus, its damage scales up really steeply, so the lower levels of the skill deal less-than-impressive damage. And finally, as I mentioned before, this skill is only available to me when I’m Super-Transformed. ST lasts for 120 seconds, and at level 1, it has a cooldown of 370 seconds. Ouch. That’s a 120∕370 ≈ 32.43% duty cycle, assuming that I spam it and never TL it. That’s less than one third…! It’s okay, though. We’ll get there…

…And still no ≥32-stat STR RBD…… 😣😣😣


Speaking of weirdo odd-jobbers 4th-job advancing, I had the distinct pleasure of bearing witness to the job advancement of SwordFurbs (Yoshis, Furbs, Fabiennes) to dexadin!! Not only is dexadin significant for being perhaps the hardest-hitting odd job out there, but as far as I know, SwordFurbs is the very first one on the server! So, I headed over to Leafre on my STR bishop cervid to witness her soloing Griffey and Manon:

SwordFurbs vs. Griffey

And thus, a dexadin was born 🥹:


Transcription of the above image

[serverwide announcement]: [4th Job] Congratulations to SwordFurbs on becoming a Paladin!

cervid [smega]: GRATS SWORDFURBS ON 1ST DEXADIN YEET@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@r>oddjobs

Grats again!!! Looking forward to SwordFurbs carrying me in all-odd Zakum! 😊

Jestterz’s level 120 party

Oh my, oh my! So many oddies hitting the big 120!!! And this is a really big one, in my opinion: Jestterz (formerly LoneW0lf1600) has been a top[1] permabeginner since longer than I’ve been around, and for the longest time, he was the #1 beginner! I was later very surprised to see him get passed while he was taking a break — by, of course, Permanovice (Dreamscapes, Battlesage, illadvised, Aniket) and Taima (Yunchang, Boymoder, Girlmoder, Tacgnol, Hanyou, Nyanners, pilk) — because I never expected anyone else to get very far past his already very high level at the time (viz. 110).

After returning to the game and doing a lot (and I do mean a lot) of grinding at Voodoos, CDs, & even a little bit of GS2, it was finally time for the big moment!! So we gathered ’round, at the Mushroom Forest in Zipangu…:

Gather ’round for Jestterz’s level 120 party~!

…And followed, with bated breath, as he slayed a handful of the mushrooms there…:

Jestterz’s level 120 party: killing stuff

…For the big moment: level 120!!!!!:

Jestterz hits level 120!!!!

Congrats again, Jestterz!! The beginner gods do smile upon thee. [:

Footnotes for “Jestterz’s level 120 party”

  1. [↑] Not counting leechginners, for obvious reasons.

Questin’ With tara

Now that my pugilist tarandus is a ✨shield bucc✨, it is time for another episode of Questin’ With tara™!!

First things first: 4th-job quests! You think all those skills I talked about in the “Buccadeer” section above come for free? Well, okay, some of them actually do. But for ST, for example, I would need to head back to where it all began: The Nautilus’s Navigation Room, to meet my girl Kyrin.

The quest itself is actually bizarrely simple & easy: stand there, face-tanking Kyrin’s attacks whilst she’s Super-Transformed, and don’t die… for two minutes:

tara vs. ST Kyrin

C’mon, Kyrin — I know you can do better than that! Well, that’s it! ST acquired!!:

tara, Super-Transformed


For TL, I would need to do something a little different. In particular, slay Papulatus — and first, of course, its clock. After taking down Peppered Lettuce alongside inject, Taima, and LawdHeComin (which you can see in the “Suboptibossing” section below), I was able to meet Papu itself directly!:

tara has a friendly chat with Papulatus

You know, Papu really isn’t so bad if you just sit down and have a nice chat with them…

And with that, TL acquired!:

tara acquires TL!

Transcription of the above image

Rolonay: tarandus, close your eyes and start thinking. Do you feel something different? Something powerful? From what I see, I think you acquired a new power. I don’t know what exactly it is, but I feel something different emmanating [sic] from you. Look at yourself closely in the mirror.

[reward]: Time Leap, 1M EXP

Oh boy, I can’t wait to use this one! For my first TL ever, I TL’d the Echo of shadower Harlez (VigiI, Murhata)!:

tara uses TL for the first time!!

Cool!! :3

I already got my ST from Kyrin, but that still leaves the skills that are enabled by ST: Snatch & Demolition. Both of these skills have very similar quests: for Demo, I would need to kill Red Dragon Turtles (RDTs) for 50 of their Hearts of Stone; and for Snatch, I would need to kill Blue Dragon Turtles (BDTs) for 50 of their Sturdy Leathers. Yep, that’s right: it’s time for even more goddamned Dragon Turtles. And no, I didn’t get any overall STR 30%s this time, either 🙄:

tara killing Dragon Turtles for 4th-job quests

With those special-sauce ETCs all collected, I decided to stay in Leafre for a bit to collect some more ETCs for a different quest:

tara hunting for Rexton Leathers

Yep, I’m gonna need 600 more Rexton Leathers for the Silver Mane quest! Plus the other 800 Leafre ETCs, most of which I… hopefully collected already!!

Oup… Looks like I completed the Rexton card set:


Very nice!! Still no card-hunting yet, but tara is already at T2 [:

tara gets the T2 Monster Book Ring~!

And, after some hours of grinding, I’ve the ETCs for a Silver Mane as well! Oh wait… I also need 50M mesos… Hold on, let me log onto my FM mule…

Okay, there we are!:

tara gets the Silver Mane!!


And finally, there’s just one more skill that I’ve yet to unlock: Hero’s Will.

With a handful of Miniature Pianuses, I headed down into Deep Aqua to meet Carta, who would use her witchy powers to transport me to a Warped Dimension where I could farm for Piece of Courage:

tara collecting Pieces of Courage in the Warped Dimension

Why does Carta need the miniatures so much? What are they even used for? Is it just a collector’s thing, like maybe she secretly has a giant stash of like 5k fish miniatures hidden somewhere…? Who knows.

In any case, I would also need to hunt Griffey for a Ragged Wristband:

tara gets the Ragged Wristband from Griffey

And with that (and ten Mithril Plates lmfao), I acquired my Will~

tara acquires the Will of the Hero~

That’s all for now, folx. [:


There’s just a slight complication that I neglected to mention about the 2023 V-day event on MapleLegends: there were no cosmetics! What the fuck!! Well, it’s not quite time to riot yet, because we were promised cosmetics Soon™. Fast forward a very short amount of time, and the V-day event is already over! Heck!! But with its disappearance comes a new event: Chinese New Year[1] 2023 (cosmetics included, this time…).

We appear to be going in reverse chronological order: CNY (the real CNY, not MapleLegends’s) 2023 was on 2023-01-22, followed by V-day on 2023-02-14. So, presumably the event after CNY event will be Xmas event…? That might be nice, if perhaps strongly anachronistic… In any case, this event proves to be quite different from the V-day that immediately preceded it. For one, we can now talk to Cassandra to get warped to an event map! Time to check it out, on my DEX/LUK hybridlander ozotoceros:

Is Cassandra OK?

Oh, dear. Not a strong start for our girl Cassandra, but I eventually figured out how to talk to her and get into the event map: Playground of Moon Bunnies:

ozotoceros enters the Playground of Moon Bunnies

Ooooh! Impressive! Lots of bunnies… Lots of writing that is probably “supposed to be” Chinese but is actually just nonsense… I’m liking the vibe so far.

But wait — there’s more! And by more, I mean more jumping!! Like, a lot more jumping!!!

ozo jumping to the Moon

These Moon-Bunny-powered trampolines are a whole lot bouncier than they look. So bouncy, in fact, that after just a handful of bounces, I was already making my way through the mesosphere!:

ozo jumping to the Moon~

Luckily for me, I’m an invincible bloodless vampire MapleStory character, so the atmospheric & temperature changes aren’t giving me much trouble.

A few more bounces, and I made a Moon landing!:

ozo makes a Moon landing

Really pretty stuff!! Also, I had no idea that so many bunnies lived on the Moon. I suppose I never really questioned why they’re called Moon Bunnies

Of course, the Moon is just an event map (just like in real life), so we need a way to get allllll the way back down to The Real World™. You may have noticed the curvature of the Moon’s surface in the above image. The naïve amongst you may have assumed that I was just landing on the top of a steep hill or something — surely, the entire Moon can’t possibly be that small? Well, think again. The Moon Bunnies have actually dug a shaft directly through the centre of the Moon, which can conveniently be used to float back down in just a handful of seconds:

Leaving the moon…

Of course, there’s also the problem of what happens when you pop out of the other side of the shaft. Don’t worry, though — the Omega Sector aliens have got our backs:

Coming back down to the Maple Earth…

Yep. You just kinda… peacefully float back down. Not sure how it works, but I’m glad that the aliens made themselves useful.

In any case, the Moon isn’t all space travel tricks & gravity-defying stunts. Well… actually, there are a lot of gravity-defying stunts. For example, Gaga can take us to a special JQ map, where we can attempt to harvest Moon Flowers from the curly-whirly Moon Trees that inexplicably grow on the Moon. Unfortunately, you can only enter at most once per day, and the JQ has a time limit!:

Difficulty at the (flower-picking) beginning

Ouf… 15 seconds left… Not gonna be able to harvest all of these bell-shaped Moon Flowers. 🫤

So, yeah. At first, I was not so great at this JQ. It consists almost entirely of jumping on those giant spring thingies that bounce you way up, so it took some getting used to. Nevertheless, after some practice, I was able to clear the JQ for the first time — on my vicloc clericlet d33r!:

Finally — cleared all of the flowers!

You may have noticed that the configuration of the trees at the top of the map differs between the above two images. When you’re warped to the map, there are actually two distinct maps — totally distinct JQs — that you can randomly be warped to, with roughly equal probability. The first one (with d34r, my vicloc dagger spearwoman) is what I would consider the “easier” of the two. It’s not really that much easier, but I find that it tends to take a bit less effort to complete competently & consistently. The easier one has a total of 10 flowers, and the other actually has a total of 11.

I later realised, when trying to do the JQ on my daggerlord alces, that it… strongly discourages certain weaponry…:

I have but only a dagger…

Yeah, so, I kinda only got 9⧸10 flowers there. Daggers just don’t cut it[3], unfortunately…

Also, you know how the whole JQ is just giant springs? Well, what goes up must come down…:

R.I.P. (b)ozo

R.I.P. (b)ozo.

Ah, but why exert yourself for such useless flowers? I tried making a tea from them and, honestly, I don’t know what I expected. It tastes like the Moon. Kinda like… if you could milk granite, the milk would taste like Moon Flower tea. I mean, don’t get me wrong; the Moon is very beautiful. It’s just not exactly a culinary revelation. Thankfully, Gaga accepts raw Moon Flowers in exchange for blessings that you can wear on your finger, which make you stronger, more dexterous, smarter, and even more fortunate. Powerful stuff!

If you thought that Moon Flower harvesting was going to be the only JQ content for this event, though, you would be dead wrong. Indeed, it’s not even the main attraction! For the JQ junkies out there, there is the Rescue Gaga JQ:

ozo takes on the Gaga JQ!

This is a JQ where you sit in a flying saucer, and take on lots of conveyor belts & springy thingies in an attempt to save Gaga from the gayliens. Don’t know what a gaylien is? Don’t worry, we’ll get there.

ozo taking on the Gaga JQ!

Right, there are also floating uh… asteroid… things? Anyways, this JQ is actually pretty tough. Especially at first, when you have to relearn how MapleStory physics works. If I’m being honest, I spent probably about an hour or so grinding this thing at first, before I was even able to clear it at all. Getting to the end looks something like this:

ozo on the last leg of the Gaga JQ

Oup! Just hold tight, Gaga… I can free you…!:

ozo completes the Gaga JQ!

…Only for the gayliens to gaybeam you again, it seems…

Gaga gets re-abducted by gayliens


In any case, at least Gaga being stuck in a perpetual cycle of abduction & re-abduction gives our JQers — particularly the speedrunners — something to do. By the middle of the event, we had a live public JQ leaderboard for this thing! This proved fatal for some, such as our very own OmokTeacher (Slime, JumpQuest, Thinks) the STRginner, who would insist on occupying the #1 spot. Somewhat unfortunately, actually ending the JQ (and thus recording your time) requires NPC chatting with the tied-up Gaga at the end of the JQ. This means that not only does the JQer have to deal with the jank that is NPC chatting, but they also have to deal with the inevitable networking latency as well. This puts players with better internet connection speeds, and/or closer geographical proximity to the MapleLegends server, at a distinct advantage. You might think that this can’t possibly make that much of a difference, but you would be wrong — when it comes to JQing competitively in a JQ like this, quite literally every frame (roughly ≈16.7⁢ ms, in this case) counts.

Luckily for me, I can barely even complete the JQ at all, so I don’t have to worry about people expecting me to complete the JQ in less than [insert shockingly small number here] seconds. Instead, I can move on to… mining? That’s right — now that I’ve completed the JQ once, I have access to the Space Mines, where I can smacc Space Rocks and greedily shove them all into my inventory:

ozotoceros @ the Space Mines

The Space Mines only have the blue–green crystals, but Grandpa Moon Bunny wants yellow crystals as well. Luckily, access to the Space Mines is not the only thing that I acquired by completing the Rescue Gaga JQ. I also got a fancy new skill that lets me mount a flying saucer of my very own! And it even comes with a built-in gaybeam!!:

ozotoceros gaybeaming a rock

Oh, yes. You thought I wouldn’t turn the rocks gay? Think again. It’s all gay, all the way down.

Now that had I collected ten of each orientation colour of rock, I unlocked bisexuality Space Dash!:

Space Dash for ozotoceros!

Transcription of the above image

Grandpa Moon Bunny: With the new crystals you got, you have brought me:
[yellow crystal] 10 found = 10 total
[blue–green crystal] 10 found = 10 total
Thanks to your contribution, we are one step closer in defeating these alien invaders.

[reward]: Space Dash

And oh, these are very real skills. Sort of. For a limited time only.[4] Yeah, they do disappear after the event ends, but I get to enjoy them whilst they last!:

ozo cruising along in her fancy spaceship~


Oh, and my girl Kyrin paid a brief visit to Maple Island for the event, so I was able to advance ozotoceros to pirate!:

Dash is pretty OP on Maple Island, not gonna lie…

Just kidding, it’s just a fun little bug with Spaceship. It’s not even that useful, either, as it requires you to dismount (which is weirdly difficult with Spaceship) twice to actually properly dismount. It does, however, allow you to get the full speed (150%) of the Spaceship on whatever rope or ladder you initially use it on. After that, though, it works normally; you cannot use ropes nor ladders (ouf).

I did neglect to mention one feature of the Rescue Gaga JQ: it can only be done in a party. Granted, a party of size 1 is allowed, but the point is that you can JQ with other folx, if you so desire. I took the opportunity to do exactly that, on my I/L archmagelet cervine, alongside OmokTeacher, Cortical (GishGallop, Medulla, Subcortical), Yunchang (Taima, Boymoder, Girlmoder, pilk, deerhunter, Hanyou, Tacgnol), and Pupperonie (PupKnight)!:

Joining the Gaga JQ party with Cortical, Yunchang, OmokTeacher, & Pupperonie

Running the Gaga JQ with Cortical, Yunchang, OmokTeacher, & Pupperonie

Pretty fun, albeit flawed in how difficult it is to smoothly coordinate re-entry. Most of the time, I would fall really early on, and just exit from there, waiting for everyone else to eventually also fall, or complete the thing. A little embarrassing, maybe, but after a while, I was able to set my own record for personal best time!:

My personal best Gaga JQ time

Transcription of the above image


PupKnight: glll

[system message]: The time taken: [00:53.168]

Cortical: deer deer deer

cervine: >:O

[system message]: A suspicious spaceship appears and shoots a rainbow-colored ray of light on Gaga.

cervine: 53.168
hrehe [sic]

Cortical: neat

OmokTeacher: GRATS!

Cortical: !

OmokTeacher: new

cervine: tY

deerhunter: wewt

I mean, sure, the people on the leaderboard take like half of that time, but I’m just happy to get below the 60-second mark. [':

Alright, I think that’s enough JQing. How about, instead of testing our jumping skills, we test our skills in not getting disconnected by the MapleLegends server for at least half an hour straight?

You took a picture of the moon!

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: You took a picture of the moon! Wait 30 minutes, without disconnecting, for it to fully develop.

I’m actually pretty good at this one (usually)! For my pristinely-developed photograph of the full moon, I was awarded a rather rectangular-prismatic chair to sit on:

Chinese Zodiac Cube Chair: Rabbit

Chinese Zodiac Cube Chair: Rabbit! It’s even got a cute lil bow on the side…

However, in order to get a good view of the moon, you have to go to Entrance to Black Mountain, where the wild Moon Bunnies roam free. But that’s in KFT, so I won’t be able to get this chair on my area-locked characters, it seems…

…Or will I?:

Snail Garden for the Year of the Rabbit

Oh, yes! Snail Garden may not have any bunnies, but it sure as hell has a full moon!!

Just gotta wait for my photo of it to develop…

ozotoceros developing her Moon photo

Ah, but what is that ✨chair✨ that I’m sitting on? ’Tis none other than the Galaxy Gateway, a very pretty chair introduced by this event that was designed by applejam specifically for MapleLegends! Naturally, such things come from the obligatory Event Raffle™. Is it really an event if there’s no raffle? Yes. Yes it is. But on MapleLegends, you might find some players who disagree…

So, you know what that means: it’s rafflin’ time.

Raffling, CNY event 2023

So, so many raffles. Dear lord. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

You may have noticed, in the above image, d33r attempting to slay Ice Drakes. And, you know, shedding more tears than actual damage dealt… Doing event raffles on vicloc is a tough life. In comparison to other area-locked characters, viclockers don’t get the advantage of islanders always getting raffles that are possible to complete, and don’t get the advantage of osslockers being able to travel to most parts of the Maple World. So when I do get a vicloc raffle that is theoretically possible to complete, you’d better believe I’m tryna do it. Unfortunately for d33r, she is a level 70 clericlet, which means that the raffle likes giving relatively difficult monsters — like Ice Drakes — not realising that I’m going to have A Really Bad Time™ if the monster isn’t undead.

The first time that I got a “100 Ice Drakes” raffle on d33r, it took me something like ≈105 minutes of continuous fighting — and lots of pots! — to end up being compensated with 50 W Ramens……

You have gained items (50 W Ramen)

Oh, god. Not only was that a waste of time & effort, but I got back only a tiny fraction of the pots that I used!!

In this first cursèd Ice Drakes raffle, I tested out using my Sweet Fork Cake claw to kill the Ice Drakes, instead of just Magic Clawing. Unfortunately, the map is just not very good for that, so I was mostly claw-punching, and I gave up out of frustration. I figured, any time that I wasn’t claw-punching, I was still not doing that much more damage than Magic Clawing.

However, when I got the same raffle quest again (god help me), it was time for a change of strategy. This time, I borrowed some of d34r’s gear, to improve my damage range:

d33r’s stats with claw, Ilbis, Echo, & Maple BBQ

That”s a whopping 106〜833 with my claw, d34r’s gear, a set of Ilbis, Echo, & a Maple BBQ (+13 WATK)! With this, I spent upwards of 90%+ of the time attacking with my claw, and was able to finish in “““only””” about ≈75 minutes of continuous fighting [':


Ahem. On the bright side, at least I was able to do my “100 Maladies” raffles (yeah, I got two!) on d33r pretty quickly. Only like 20〜25 minutes of continuous fighting for each one, thanks to Maladies being weak to holy (despite not being undead, and thus being immune to Heal). I know I started levelling up HA for a reason! Although it’s still not maxed yet, it was at least enough to be better than Magic Claw.

For characters of a high enough level (≥120) to be offered the choice of 1 boss monster kill — instead of 100 non-boss monster kills — for their raffle quest, Crog was a big favourite. And by “favourite”, I don’t mean a favourite of the rafflers, but rather, a favourite of the raffle itself. No matter how high above level 120 you are, there’s a very good chance that you will be assigned the task of killing a Crog. So… I got some Balrog Chairs…:

rusa gets a chair from Crog!

cervid gets a chair from Crog!

cervine gets a chair from Crog!

Although Crog-hunting is a matter of pure luck (the unlucky may find themselves sailing upwards of 8+ ships before finding one…), it at least has the perk of being semi-AFK. Whilst you’re waiting for Crog to spawn (or more likely, to not spawn), you can do something else. As long as that thing allows you to constantly come back and check for Crogs

forgor abt that

Transcription of the above image

tarandus: do u ever go on a ship to find crog
and do smth else while ur waiting

BonkHammer: OwO

tarandus: and crog spawns
and you just come out the other side
with 9 fewer honsters than u started with

BonkHammer: asjkdhjkasdh

tarandus: and youre like oh yes im logged into maplestory, forgor abt that


Welp. At least my pets kept me alive, I guess…

Of course, Crog isn’t the only boss that you can possibly get as your raffle quest (even if it might seem like it on some days…). Here’s a Papal Lattice that I killed for a raffle on cervine, alongside her Maple husband Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx) the marksman, and Funkers Choon & bregye:

bregye, Choon, Level1Crook, & cervine vs. Papu 2nd body

Plus, raffling gives a good reason to dust off some characters that I don’t really play otherwise, or that are otherwise just PQ mules. Like my besinner hashishi! Here, we can see hashishi taking on a Giant Centipede, on the way to kill 100 Cows:

hashishi vs. Giant Centipede

It’s not all fun & games, though. Besides getting pretty much jack shit for the entire event on my viclockers (Warm Mufflerless as always… 😭), and getting little more than the Galaxy Gateway that you see above on my islander, the CNY event also meant losing all of my old event cosmetics. None of the Xmas, V-day, nor CNY cosmetics from last year made a re-appearance, so it looks like a lot of my characters will just have to give up their æsthetics for good…:

R.I.P. cosmetics… 🪦

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: [First Love Chat Ring] has passed its expiration date and will be removed from your inventory.
[Plaid Pashmina (Red)] has passed its expiration date and will be removed from your inventory.
[First Love Label Ring] has passed its expiration date and will be removed from your inventory.
[First Love T-Shirt] has passed its expiration date and will be removed from your inventory.
[Giant Floppy Heart Hat] has passed its expiration date and will be removed from your inventory.

ozotoceros: vday cosmetics are expiring :(

Girlmoder: D:

ozotoceros: unfortunately none of last years’ CNY/V-day/Xmas cosmetics
are coming back ROFL

🪦 🫤

Footnotes for “Lunational”

  1. [↑] Typically, this event is Chinese New Year, CNY for short; or Lunar New Year, LNY for short. These two terms are used synonymously in this context, which is likely sourced from, and a source of, confusion. This is perhaps unsurprising, as there are numerous effects conspiring to make the terminology unclear:

    • Anglophones have been using solar calendars (first the Julian, and later the Gregorian) since… the English language has even existed, thus making non-solar calendars a truly foreign concept to them.

    • Chinese New Year (春节; ⟨Chūnjié⟩; Standard Beijing Mandarin /ʈ͡ʂʰwən˥ t͡ɕje˧˥/; “spring, springtime; Spring Festival [Chinese New Year]”) takes place at the beginning of the year in the traditional Chinese calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar, not a lunar one.

    • The traditional Chinese calendar is not the only lunisolar calendar in use today, for traditional purposes or otherwise. For example, the Hindu calendars (पञ्चाङ्ग; ⟨Pañcāṅga⟩; /pɐɲt͡ɕɑːŋgɐ/; lit. “five limbs”, ultimately “calendar, almanac”) are lunisolar, widely used, have many regional variations, and influenced the creation of many other calendars that are used in South and Southeast Asia. Moreover, multiple lunar calendars are in use as well. For example, the Hijri calendar (⁧ٱلتَّقْوِيم ٱلْهِجْرِيّ⁩; ⟨al-ttaqwīm al-hijrrī⟩; MSA /atːaqwiːm il.hid͡ʒrːiː/; “Hijra calendar”, lit. “(im)migrational calendar”) — commonly known in English as the Islamic calendar. This makes terms like Lunar New Year or *Lunisolar New Year fundamentally ambiguous.

    • Historical and present sinicisation makes the Chinese in Chinese New Year difficult to interpret, and politically fraught. For example, in Vietnamese culture, the new year celebration is known as Tết (itself a clipping of Tết Nguyên Đán; Hà Nội dialect /tet˧˥ ŋwiə̯n˧˧ ɗan˧˥/; “festival of the new year”), which is based on the traditional Vietnamese calendar. The traditional Vietnamese calendar is lunisolar like the traditional Chinese one — indeed, it is based on the traditional Chinese calendar, with some minor but significant differences. This is a direct result of historical Chinese rule of Vietnam. Similar things can be said of some other East & Southeast Asian countries and cultures, e.g. Korean New Year (설날; ⟨Seollal⟩; /sʰʌɭɭɐɭ/; “new year’s day”).

      To make things worse still, countries with considerable ethnic Han populations that are nevertheless ethnically diverse — including, for example, Singapore and Malaysia, both large contributors to the MapleStory population — may have populations that celebrate a “Chinese New Year” (or what have you) in one way or another, but fused with and/or tempered by cultural, racial, national, nation-state-wise, local, etc. considerations that are unique to that locale.

    • It’s certainly too much to go into here in any depth, but “China” itself is a slippery object (or not-so-object) that consistently evades definition or unification/generalisation. Certainly, this is very true historically; nowadays, we sometimes like to think that the PRC defines what modern “China” is from the mid-20th century or so, and onwards. Of course, this obviously has a lot of complications, not the least of which is the ROC — indeed, it is just as much of a convenient fantasy as ever. Trying to think of “China” as anything like a country, a nation-state, a nation, an ethnicity, a culture, or even just a tract (or tracts) of land, adds to the confusion, especially considering that we’re dealing with a literally ancient calendar. I’ve quoted 闯 ⟨Chuǎng in this diary before, and I shall do it again:

      But the most striking feature of Pereira’s report was not its author’s checkered history nor his descriptions of the ornate but effective Ming judicial system. Instead, it was the curious fact that, among all the “Chinese” people he spoke to, none had heard of “China”, nor any of its supposedly native correlates (variants on Zhōngguó [中國] — the “middle” or “central” country or countries). Pereira himself travelled exclusively in what is today Southern China, traversing Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Guizhou provinces. These regions were host to a myriad of local “dialects”, most as mutually incommunicable as European “languages” are from one another, often centered on local place ties and the trade networks that connected coastal regions to Southeast Asia. Nor were these provinces settled by the “Han” ethnicity exclusively — and even the existence of such a category has recently been called into question.[2] Instead, the region had been home to the Hui, Baiyue, She, Miao-Yao, Zhuang and numerous other ethno-linguistic groups.

    • As mentioned above, many lunisolar calendars (including the traditional Chinese one) and many lunar calendars remain in use today, for traditional purposes or otherwise. However, even countries that make significant use of such non-solar calendars likely use solar calendars more frequently for practical purposes. Most countries, officially or otherwise, use the Gregorian calendar due to its status as an international standard. This is perhaps obvious, but it’s worth noting that this contributes to terminological difficulty. The Gregorian calendar is just “the normal calendar” in some sense, so it often doesn’t even get a name. If the “Chinese calendar” is meant to refer to “the calendar used in modern-day China (the PRC)”, then it’s really the Gregorian calendar! Of course, what we really mean is the traditional Chinese calendar — the lunisolar one.

    All of this is to say that we don’t have a particularly good way to refer to the IRL new year’s celebrations that this MapleLegends event is based upon, especially considering the very wide geographic and cultural distribution of the game’s players. We would, however, be remiss if we didn’t also consider the in-game aspects that are intended to reflect the new year celebration:

    • New Year’s Lion Head, New Year’s Lion Body, & New Year’s Lion Tail equipment items (all of which are hats), which are parts of the lion costume used for traditional lion dancing (舞狮; ⟨wǔshī⟩; Standard Beijing Mandarin /u˨˩˦ ʂʐ̩˥/). This is identifiably “Chinese”, if anything can be called such.

    • W Ramen, which, judging by its icon, is W™-brand (not a real brand, as far as I know…) ramen. ⟨Rāmen⟩ (ラーメン; /ɾaːmeɴ/) is certainly Japanese, but it’s also Chinese in origin — it’s even referred to in Japanese as 中華蕎麦(ちゅうかそば)chūka soba⟩ /t͡ɕɯːka soba/, meaning “Chinese (buckwheat) noodles”. Japanese New Year is generally celebrated on the first day of the Gregorian calendar, but some new year’s events are held on the first day of the Tenpō calendar ((てん)(ぽう)(れき); ⟨Tenpō-reki⟩; /tempoː ɾeki/) instead, which is a lunisolar calendar. However, it seems(?) that the Tenpō calendar is basically unrelated to the traditional Chinese calendar, other than being similarly lunisolar and suffering from the same 2033 problem (see also: the Japanese Wikipedia article).

      W Ramen (regardless of whether the ⟨W⟩ has any significance or not) is likely (とし)()しそば (⟨toshikoshi soba⟩; /toɕikoɕi soba/; “New Year’s Eve soba”), which is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve.

    • New Year Rice Soup, which appears to be MapleLegends’s name for 떡국 (⟨tteokguk⟩; /t͈ʌk̚.k͈uk̚/; “sliced rice cake soup”), which is traditionally eaten during the celebration of Seollal. The traditional Korean calendar is based on the corresponding Chinese one, and is used for age reckoning and traditional holidays, much like the corresponding Chinese calendar.

    • New Year Rice Cake, which appears to be MapleLegends’s name for 年糕 (⟨nián gāo⟩; Standard Beijing Mandarin /njɛn˧˥ kau̯˥/; lit. “year cake”). Nián gāo is eaten year-round, but as you’d expect, it’s associated with the new year.

    • Cooked Sea Bream is P. major, known in Japanese as ()(だい) (⟨madai⟩; /madai/; “red sea bream”, lit. “true sea bream”), which is associated with festivities such as the celebration of Japanese New Year.

    • 8-Blessing Ring, which emphasises the number eight (8) in the spirit of eight’s special status in Chinese numerology. The number eight is particularly auspicious, being associated with prospering, good fortune, etc.

      If you look up “8 blessing”, though, you will find English-language resources about the Christian subject of the eight Beatitudes, i.e. eight blessings said by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Almost certainly pure coincidence, but there you have it…

    • 2023 is a year of the rabbit, in the Chinese zodiac cycle. This is reflected in many ways in the in-game event, including the event currency being “Year of the Rabbit Coin”s, and a whole lot of Moon-Bunny-themed stuff. Because the elements of the cycle correspond to years in the traditional Chinese calendar, aspects of the zodiac are incorporated into many East & Southeast Asian cultures. There are, naturally, variations on the zodiac (e.g. in the traditional Vietnamese calendar, the year of the rabbit is instead the year of the cat), but the basic idea is widely retained.

    On the basis of all of the above, I’m actually going to refer to the holiday as « Chinese New Year », or « CNY » for short. It’s tempting to go for the term « Lunar New Year » because it sounds more “neutral”: it doesn’t directly reference any country nor culture, except for the people who secretly live on the far side of the moon. Unfortunately, this more neutral-sounding term is fundamentally confused on multiple counts: it confuses lunisolar calendars with lunar calendars, and neglects to specify what calendar it’s even in reference to. This is considered acceptable by some speakers because the context is enough to know what we’re talking about: we really mean « Chinese New Year ».

    Many of the things that I noted above make « Chinese New Year » problematic: it’s celebrated just as much outside of “China” as it is within “China” (and in many different ways), present & historical sinicisation makes the term awkwardly politically fraught, “China” doesn’t exist (and has never existed) as a coherent entity, etc. Nevertheless, Chinese New Year is identifiably Chinese (or Sinitic, if you prefer…), even if the exact meaning of such an assertion is ill-defined; that is to say, if anything is Chinese, then surely Chinese New Year is — along with practices widely associated with it, such as the zodiac cycle. To call it « Chinese New Year » is thus not to downplay local manifestations of the phenomenon, nor to assert the superiority — nor even the existence — of “China” or “Chinese culture”; rather, it is to identify this new year’s celebration phenomenon with a messily-interwoven amalgamation of cultural legacy that is conventionally identified with a vague geographical region and a slippery handful of (sometimes unrelated) ethnolinguistic groups, especially Sinitic language speakers, that has had a massive enough impact on the whole world to make it even more difficult to pinpoint. Which, in English, is called “China”.

    If you, my dear reader, live outside of the “Sinosphere”, then you might still be confused. I’ll try to come up with a (crappy) “Occidental” analogy… Aristotle’s treatment of logic has been influential for most logical treatises that came after it in “the West”, to the point that we might think of it as the foundation (or at least, a large part of the foundation) for “Western” logic. Aristotle was, of course, also highly influential in many other areas, and as an Ancient Greek philosopher, we are continually tempted — nay, obligated — to put his works — and the works influenced by them — into the “Western” canon. Of course, by now you surely understand why I insist on putting scare quotes around “West(ern)”: there is no particular such thing. Aristotle makes for a nice example partly because he was so massively influential on Islamic philosophy — including Islamic logic, of course. Nevertheless, treatments of “Western” philosophy tend to be pretty iffy on whether or not to include Arabic/Islamic philosophers; you’re lucky if you end up with the big ones like ⁧اِبْن رُشْد⁩ (⟨Ibn Rushd⟩; MSA /ibn ruʃd/; typically Latinised as Averroes ⫽aˈ̬⫽). Where does Europe end and Asia begin? Where does Eurasia end and Your Asia begin? What is a “Middle East”? What is a “Western” language? Ethnicity? Who knows…… I’ll just keep saying “Western” and hoping that it might mean something. 😊

  2. [↑] Fletcher, Will; “Thousands of genomes sequenced to map Han Chinese genetic variation”; Bionews, iss. 536; 2009-11-30.

  3. [↑] Pun intended. What’re you gonna do, call the Pun Police? The Dad Joke Department of Justice?

  4. [↑] Free shipping on qualifying offers. May not be available in some jurisdictions. All offers non-refundable.

fuwari × xKoji

I was invited— Well… more like “I asked for an invitation to” the wedding of fuwari & xKoji, on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r:

fuwari × xKoji wedding starting

Naturally, the promise of an Onyx Chest is tantalising, but would you look at that! It’s about to be a heck of a party with this many people!!

Of course, the real prize of any good Maple wedding is a good Maple speech. And for that, we were in for a treat:

fuwari × xKoji wedding speech

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

HeadEmpty: VOWS

KynHakeem: VOEWS [sic]

FangBladeJr: VOWS

KynHakeem: VOWS!!!!!!

sojussi: VOWS


fuwari: our love story
we r a long distance couple

KynHakeem: awwwwwwwwwwwwww

fuwari: We met on hinge

nendo: woo

SNComrade: OMG

xDeadlyPoke: Woooo


fuwari: hes from london


fuwari: im from singapore


fuwari: i went to london to see him

SNComrade: OMG


frogi: awwwWWWWW

sojussi: THE ENGLISH

fuwari: xD

keleep: damn


fuwari: here we are now

xKoji: we’re travelling together rn
playing maple <3

HeadEmpty: SO  CUTE

kiiiboo: OMG


fuwari: living nomad life

KynHakeem: VIETNAM REPRESENTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

fuwari: XDDD

ESC2BFREE: u guys mad cute


xKoji: we’re sitting infront [sic] of eachother [sic] rn

fuwari: i hope u all find ur true love to play maple with

(For context: I appear to have failed to screenshot the part where xKoji adds that he is originally from Vietnam.)

Congrats again!! [':


Gather ’round, ’cause it’s time for another obligatory 😈bossing😈 section! But not just any bossing — no, no, no. This is ✨Suboptibossing✨, where everyone is a member of the Suboptimal alliance! Including many all-odd-jobbed boss runs!!

To start things off, I did duo Rāvaṇa on my pugilist tarandus, alongside marksman Level1Crook (Lvl1Crook, xXCrookXx)!:

tara & Level1Crook duo Rav

But Level1Crook isn’t even odd-jobbed. Ew… Stinky… I did more duo Rav, but this time on my odd DK rusa alongside fellow odd DK daggerknight (Jonathan, Gumby, Kimberly, j0hnny)!!:

rusa & daggerknight duo Rav

Bzzzzzzerk! :D

Oh, and we duoed Pal Pal Laters as well!!:

daggerknight & rusa duo Papu

So stronk [':

Speaking of Purple Ate Us, I did some really fun quartet Papal Ladles runs on tara, with STRginner extraordinaire Taima (Yunchang, Boymoder, Girlmoder, pilk, deerhunter, Hanyou, Tacgnol), dagger sader inject (inhale, vvvv), & F/P archgish LawdHeComin (AppleBasket, Snel)!!:

Taima, inject, LawdHeComin, & tara slaying Papu 1st body

Now that is what I like to see. Just a couple of oddballs smashing a clock to bits!!!

Oh, and I hit level 123 as a result~!:

tarandus hits level 123~!


I also did some trio runs on rusa, again with inject & Taima:

rusa, Taima, & inject vs. Papu 2nd body

On one day, I was really tryna Rav it up on rusa to complete my raffle quest, so I reached out on the Suboptimal Discord™ server. LawdHeComin took pity upon me, and agreed to a duo 😆:

rusa & LawdHeComin vs. Rav

Frequently, one of the first things that we have to consider when it comes to a Rav fight — particularly w.r.t. our party composition — is controlling Rav’s movement. The secret special sauce of Ravana fights is that, if you can pin Rav to the left edge of the map, and also avoid going too far inside of his hitbox, you can pretty much 100% avoid Rav attacking you at all! Unfortunately, Rav has a knockback (KB) value of 10k, which makes him somewhat difficult to pin. For example, on rusa, I can do maybe an average of ≈24k damage per Crusher without breaking a sweat, but that won’t do the trick — the damage is spread over three lines, so none of the lines are 10k or greater (unless I crit).

Not being able to pin Rav is mildly problematic, as it means that Rav will feel licensed to kinda waddle all over the place, wherever & whenever he pleases. Generally, this means that we purposely encourage Rav to stay on the right side of the map, as he is less antsy when facing towards the left (largely because he’s too busy casting magical attacks to actually move his fat ass). This works well enough, but is often a bad fit if I — or anyone else — wants to attack at range. In the “ボス” section of the previous entry in this diary, we saw kinda how it goes when no one is doing much melee, but also no one can pin. Because of the typical party compositions that we’ve been running with, it’s usually unappealing for me to attack at range (read: with my bow) on my woodsmaster capreolina. Not just because I’m ranged, but because I can’t very well Rush (or similar), and getting knocked back by Rav’s ranged attacks can be pretty nasty for my Hurricane DPM due to Hurricane’s very unique animation. Attacking on rusa is just the far easier choice, as I can control Rav’s movement more closely, and don’t really lose any DPM just because Rav is attacking me.

Nevertheless, on this particular occasion, we had SwordFurbs (Yoshis, Furbs, Fabiennes) the dexadin on our side! Although SwordFurbs may be low level for now — meaning not enough SP to use the full array of paladin skills, e.g. Blast — SwordFurbs’s Advanced Charge (ACB[1]) was just enough to sustain a pin on our boy Ravana! With Taima also attacking, I attacked on capreolina this time, more or less safely Hurricaning from the right side:

capreolina, Taima, & SwordFurbs trio Rav

Having taken down Rav twice now, it was time to give Papu a fair shake as well!:

capre, Taima, & SwordFurbs trio Papu

And, once again on rusa, I took down even more Ravanners with daggerknight & Taima:

daggerknight, Taima, & rusa trio Rav

For raffle purposes, I did a lil Pappin’ with Level1Crook on my I/L archmagelet cervine:

cervine & Level1Crook duo Papu

The AVOID really helps attack from that top platform! 😄

And, also with Level1Crook, I did a Papu raffle on my STR bishop cervid! I never really expected to actually complete a Pap raffle on cervid, considering that Pap’s 1st body is essentially begging me to die by getting dispelled & touched at the same time. Melee mage life is tuff… But, by being really careful, I was able to do it! And got ✨huge bossing profits✨!!:

huge cervid bossing profits

Transcription of the above image

[Trade window of Level1Crook trading two Prestigious Coins to cervid]

cervid: tysm

Level1Crook: huge cervid bossing profits

cervid: hehe

Level1Crook: cerivd [sic] stonk ^^^^^^

cervid: im EPIC

In an all-odd Rav run on rusa, I had HT buff, MW20, Echo, SI, & SE… so I decided to do a cheeky lil @dpm 2 test:

rusa, level 180, @dpm 2 vs. Rav, with HS:V, MW20, Echo, SI, & SE

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: rusa — Lv.180 Dark Knight — Total Damage: 4,257,234
Damage Per Hour: 127,717,020 — Damage Per Minute: 2,128,617

Hoo boy, that is a 🌶️spicy🌶️ 2.13M single-target DPM!!

Speaking of DPM, mayhaps Taima & I can put together enough DPM to kill Capt. Latanica in a short enough time to benefit from HS in the FM… Mmmm… Tempting……

We tried once or twice, with me alternately playing tarandus or my daggerlord alces, to no avail. It was more promising with alces, actually, as her single-target DPM is fairly favourable in this situation. But it’s quite a tight time constraint: HS lasts for just 120 seconds, and we have to leave FM, scurry into The Engine Room, drop the White Essence in the right spot, wait for Lat to hurry up & spawn — not to mention actually kill Lat — all within those 120 seconds.

This seemed like the job for a good Heartstopper or two — or, in my case, an Unripe Onyx Apple or two. Being the pugilist that she is, tara benefits hugely from large WATK buffs like an Unripe Onyx Apple (+60 WATK for 60 seconds), so we gave it a go. I made sure to pop the unripe and my ST as soon as Lat spawned… And we did it!!:

Capt. Lat speedrun success!!

Transcription of the system messages in the above image

You have gained experience (+406984)
Bonus EXP for PARTY (+40698)
Bonus Event EXP (+44769)

Great success, great HS. [: It’s actually pretty fun to do this! Giving it the element of a serious time constraint really gets that Jiaoceng vibe goin’.

Also in The Engine Room, I duoed a pair of Lats as part of ODDMIT GANG!!! A.k.a. alces the daggerlord & Boymoder the STRmit:

Oddmits vs. Lat

Okay, technically only one of us is actually a hermit, but whatever. You know what I mean.

And, now that inject was level ≥115, it was time to show him the ✨true power✨ of the Ravana…:

rusa, inject, & Taima trio Rav

Oh, yes. Huge EXPs.

On another day & another round of raffles, both Taima & capreolina got Pauper Let Us for our boss raffles. With, regrettably, no other clock h8rz online at the time, we decided to make it a duo:

Taima & capre duoing Papu 1st body

Pretty tough, partly because we didn’t have a good way to control Papu’s movement. I used Puppet a number of times to some effect, but for the most part, Papu preferred to ignore my straw-stuffed friend…

Taima & capre duo Papu 2nd body

And, finally, I did some action-packed Pumpy Letters runs as a quartet, with me on tara, alongside inject, Taima, & Level1Crook:

tara, Level1Crook, inject, & Taima vs. Papu 1st body


Whew. That was a lot of Papuvana! I mean, Ravulatus!!

Footnotes for “Suboptibossing”

  1. [↑] The skill itself is indeed called Advanced Charge in-game, but because it’s just a passive skill that serves to enhance the 3rd-job skill Charged Blow, it is generally thought of as « Advanced Charged Blow » or « Advanced Charge Blow », hence ACB for short. AC is already used to refer to Armor Crash (the crusader skill), and CB is already used to refer to chief bandit (the playable 3rd-job class that succeeds bandit) as well as Core Blaze (the NT2 boss). Due to the poor design of 3rd job, Charged Blow is not actually useful until enhanced by Advanced Charge; thus, ACB is used loosely to refer to both skills in tandem.

Uictoria Ylelond

It’s vicloc time!! 😈 Let’s gooooooo~

I did some #ossgang APQ on my vicloc dagger spearwoman d34r, wherein myself, osslock WK Buppoon (Buwwon, Buccon, Bushroom), STRginner Gumby (daggerknight, Jonathan, Kimberly, j0hnny), & osslock ranger Mekhane (Sunken, CaptainNemo, BlackDow) took on the big bad Groggers!:

Buppoon, d34r, Gumby, & Mekhane vs. Grog

After some grinding & APQing, d34r was getting dangerously close to levelling, so I decided to go out and kill some random bosses to level up. I found a few ZMMs bouncing around the Ant Tunnel, and managed to accidentally level myself by clearing Zombie Mushrooms & Jr. Boogers out of the way before fighting the third ZMM or whatever…:

d34r hits level 91~!!


As usual, I’ve been attending all GM events that I can get my hooves on, on my vicloc clericlet d33r. These are often the same kinds of events that I’ve shown & talked about before within this here diary, so I don’t always mention them or take screenshots. So, here’s a screenshot of me doing the 4th & final stage of the Physical Fitness Challenge:

d33r Fitnessing

Harnessing the immense power of the V-day basket (a.k.a. portable GM buffs), I also did some duo FoGging on d34r, alongside her Maple husband, vicloc bandit xXCrookXx (Level1Crook, Lvl1Crook):

d34r & xXCrookXx duoing FoG on V-day basket

Then, more than halfway through the 60 minutes of the basket, we realised that we were both partyless this whole time! LOOOL!!!:

we werent in a party this whole time

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

xXCrookXx: we werent in a party
this whole time

d34r: im
gonna die

[system message]: You have created a new party.
‘xXCrookXx’ has joined the party.

d34r: i swer [sic]

xXCrookXx: im poo poo head

d34r: omfg

xXCrookXx: poo poo brain

d34r: ;o;

xXCrookXx: scuffed

d34r: so scuffed omg

xXCrookXx: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

d34r: i still got like 10% [EXP] so far lmao
it would be like 2× that much



xXCrookXx: there is actually no excuse for for how dumb we r

d34r: LMAO
i was so intent
on using all of my gm buff
that i didnt use half

xXCrookXx: thats why i couldnt loot that gach ticket

d34r: LFMAOAOAOAO [sic]

xXCrookXx: i thought it was mine
but it was urs

d34r: aAJAH [sic]
peak comedy
aholy [sic] shit
oim laghunitg [sic] so hard

xXCrookXx: we also just get like 10% more exp from partying

d34r: no way

BAHAHA oups. Well, I may have been exaggerating with the “2× that much [EXP]” thing, but you’d be surprised how powerful activated[1] HS is… >w<

Naturally, because I am very good at MapleStory, this was not the only thing that I massively scuffed during our “duo” (lol) FoG session…

There is not enough inventory space to complete the trade.

Transcription of the above image

[Trade window of xXCrookXx trading a Love Letter to d34r]

d34r: omg

xXCrookXx: take this
no questions asked

d34r: tyyy
:'] <3


[system message]: There is not enough inventory space to complete the trade.

d34r: REOFL [sic]

xXCrookXx: smh

d34r: a'a

xXCrookXx: scuffing everything tonight

d34r: iM A MESS

xXCrookXx: </3

d34r: omfg
just finnish [sic] the buff
im so done

xXCrookXx: idk what to say


It’s okay, though. I made some room (god damn those arrows and quarrels that they drop at FoG…), and it all worked out:

A gift made with love by xXCrookXx.

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: A gift made with love by xXCrookXx.

xXCrookXx: love is like a scarf… fleeting and expiring march 13th

d34r: LAMO [sic]

xXCrookXx: besides, if there wasnt an event
i wouldnt be at fog

d34r: true ig

xXCrookXx: and we wouldnt be grinding for 1hr outside the party

d34r: AFEKOgjsoir

xXCrookXx: and having a full inv when i give you a letter

d34r: :'))

xXCrookXx: nerd

d34r: im EPIC

xXCrookXx: :)
u are cool deer

Over at APQ again, I did just a wee bit of APQing on d33r, as well. I was in a party with a dragon knight by the name of PupKnight (Pupperonie) — yes, the same PupKnight that I did the Rescue Gaga JQ with! — and found it quite effective to do a HealRoar combo with them:

d33r Healing PupKnight

During the boss fight, d33r can’t really do… well, she actually can’t do any damage, except maybe… a little bit? If I brought the right equips to use my claw against Grog? But even Grog’s 3rd body is already ≈25 levels above her, which doesn’t bode well… That being said, I can still Heal & Bless! I know I sure miss Bless any time I’m fighting Grog on d34r and we have no Blessers in the party… or my Bless gets dispelled by the dastardly Grog……

d33r, xXCrookXx, Mekhane, Taima, Gumby, & PupKnight vs. Grog

Oh, yes! This was an osslock-friendly APQ with myself, Mekhane, Taima, Gumby, PupKnight, & xXCrookXx!

Afterwards, I also did the key-farming with PupKnight as well, flexing that Heal–Roar combo at PWF2!:

PupKnight & d33r key-farming

So, about all those GM events that I go to on d33r… I’ve amassed a whopping two (2) Scrolls of Secrets (wow! cool!), so it’s time to open ’em up. But first, I ran out of Slime Bubbles to open them with, so I gotta hunt those first:

d33r hunting for Slime Bubbles to open Scrolls of Secrets

Okay, looking good so far. Off to Kerning City…:

Another SoS run~

Transcription of the chatlog in the above image

[system message]: You have lost items (50 Charm of the Undead)
You have lost an item (Scroll of Secrets)
You have gained an item (Magic Box)
You have lost an item (Sapphire)
You have lost items (5 Slime Bubble)
You have lost an item (Magic Box)
You have gained an item (Scroll for Two-handed BW for ATT 60%)
You have lost items (50 Charm of the Undead)
You have lost an item (Scroll of Secrets)
You have gained an item (Magic Box)
You have lost an item (Sapphire)
You have lost items (5 Slime Bubble)
You have lost an item (Magic Box)
You have gained an item (Scroll for Shoes for Speed 60%)

Ouf. Better LUK next time…

Speaking of next time, I was given yet another opportunity to prove myself in the Physical Fitness Challenge! And this time, I honestly think that I did a really good job. At least, at first:

d33r doing pretty well @ Fitness stage 3

The above screenshot is from stage three, out of a total of four stages. You can see that I’m basically #4(?) here somehow, which isn’t enough to be considered a “winner” — as that’s a title reserved for just the top three — but way, WAY closer to a “winner” spot than I could ever possibly deserve to be… During the first stage, I actually briefly (basically the end of stage one & the very beginning of stage two) managed to pass Dulce, who ended up coming in 2nd place — after OmokTeacher (Slime, JumpQuest, Thinks), of course:

OmokTeacher was the first player to finish the event

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: [Congrats] OmokTeacher was the first player to finish the event (5m 48s).

OmokTeacher: yay! :D

[system message]: [Congrats] Dulce was the second player to finish the event (5m 52s).
[Congrats] IKarina was the third player to finish the event (5m 54s).

LawdHeComin: :>

Syrinz [serverwide announcement]: Congrats!


In the end, I probably finished in like 42nd place, or something like that…

Oh, remember the bit where I cleared room in my USE inventory to receive the Love Letter gift from xXCrookXx? Well, once we finished grinding and I could go to Amoria to make my own Love Letter, I do so. Then, I waited days… weeks… months… years… decades… Okay, not that long. Eventually, I managed to catch xXCrookXx online again:

A gift made with love by d34r.

Transcription of the above image

[Trade window with d34r trading a Love Letter to xXCrookXx]

d34r: [:
ive been waiting for u to log on

xXCrookXx: oh wow, i 4got about this

d34r: for weeks

xXCrookXx: hahahah
im sorry, i havent been on around this time

d34r: :P

Whilst we were there at FoG, we took a moment to be collectively heartbroken about the tragic loss of so many cosmetic equipment items:

R.I.P. Round Glasses

Transcription of the above image

d34r: can
u believe
d33r has been wearing
the round glasses since character creation
and they expired yesterday

xXCrookXx: :(
i miss the glasses they were cute

d34r: i lost so much gear ydy
yeah :x

xXCrookXx: now youre [sic] eye is on fire for some reason

d34r: yaa!!

xXCrookXx: your eyes must be irritated since youre not used to no glasses

d34r: :(
i cant c

xXCrookXx: literal inflammation

d34r: u look like a blurry sauna robe to me

xXCrookXx: thats more or less correct

d34r: ahahaha

xXCrookXx: im glad u cant see, i dont wanna see myself either


On the bright side, d34r hit level 92 whilst doing a raffle at Camp 1!!!:

d34r hits level 92~!!


Footnotes for “Uictoria Ylelond”

  1. [↑] The Holy Symbol buff is commonly misunderstood in this respect (and in some others…). This is perhaps to be expected, given that EXP distribution mechanics are remarkably obscure, and are also no stranger to being tweaked at the whim of MSPS developers. As usual, the in-game description doesn’t do a great job, but it’s actually pretty good, relatively speaking:

    Temporarily allows all members of the party nearby to gain additional EXP while hunting. It becomes fully effective when there are 2 or more members of the party around who are eligible for gaining EXP.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    This is what I mean when I say “activated” HS. HS is “activated” on a PC-by-PC basis, for a PC whom we shall call “𝐴”, exactly when all of the following conditions are met at the moment that the monster dies:

    • 𝐴 otherwise would gain at least 1 EXP from the monster dying.
    • *𝐴 is eligible for EXP sharing, meaning that 𝐴 is at least level (𝑥 − 5), where 𝑥 is the level of the monster.
    • 𝐴 is affected by the Holy Symbol buff.
    • There exists at least one other PC in 𝐴’s party, whom we shall call “𝐵”.
      • 𝐵 otherwise would also gain at least 1 EXP from the monster dying.
      • *𝐵 is eligible for EXP sharing, meaning that 𝐵 is at least level (𝑥 − 5), where 𝑥 is the level of the monster.

    I said that “EXP distribution mechanics are remarkably obscure”, and I freely admit that I am quite unsure of them myself. The asterisked (*) items above are ones that I’m unsure of, and would require testing or similar before I would be confident enough to state them without qualification.

    Note that the in-game description is still somewhat misleading, despite being basically correct: it says “when there are 2 or more members of the party around”, but does not mean “2 or more in addition to the PC who is affected by the HS buff”; rather, it means “2 or more in total (HS-buff-haver included)”.

    Of course, this leads to the obvious question: “what does ‘activating’ HS actually do?”. I can’t give a detailed answer to this question — again, because EXP distribution mechanics are remarkably obscure — but I can say with confidence that activated HS dramatically increases EXP gain. An illustrative example would be the effect that HS has when I’m playing solo on my STR bishop cervid: because I’m solo and thus have no one to activate my HS, my EXP gain is only multiplied by a factor of exactly 110%. That is a lot less than the nominal “150%” stated in the skill description. That’s not necessarily because the skill description is wrong per se, as it does correctly specify that the HS needs to be activated in order to produce its full effect. Nevertheless, I don’t know what the exact significance of “150%” is here; I just know that activated HS gives you “a lot” more EXP, based on the kinds of EPM tests etc. that I do in practice.


In the previous diary entry, I talked a lot (a lot) about running Horntail as seduce target on my darksterity knight rusa. Indeed, I’ve actually talked about many & various aspects of it, at some length, in many of my diary entries now. If you’re considering running HT as sed target on a non-shadower; or, better yet, specifically as a warrior; or, better yet, specifically as a dark knight; or, better yet, specifically as a darksterity knight (or LUK DK[1]); you might (or might not…) benefit from reading what I’ve written about it. I’ve kinda vaguely considered writing some kind of guide based on my experiences, but that’ll probably never happen.

In any case, I did even moar HTing as sed target, and I’m excited to share it here. [:

to start things off, I ran as sed target in a party with shadower Paulshungry, who is also Paulsthirsty, the first bishop with whom I ran as baby noob sed target 🥲:

rusa sed target, HTing w/ Paulshungry

We were, unfortunately, a bit too heavy on the cleaving, and ended up triggering early mass seduce from the left arm whilst the mid head was still alive…:

Too much cleave! Early mass!!

So, since left arm was the only one in mass seduce range, we played it safe by huddling up on the right half of the map:

Playing it safe, on the right side…

In another run, we managed to break Horntail entirely. And I do mean break. We lowered all of its body parts to 0 HP each, and it just… stood there still as a statue, quite literally, considering that all of its dead body parts had since turned to stone…:

HT… will not die…?

“?????”, indeed. Fortunately for us, GM Ariami responded to our @gm cry for help promptly, supplying the final little prod necessary to collapse Horntail for good:

Ariami saves the day

During the V-day event, I was awash with V-day event baskets on rusa, so I started using them during my HT runs. Naturally, the HB & HS are useless, but the Haste & GM Bless are undispellable and quite useful! Here’s what my stats looked like with V-day basket, Echo, MW20, SE, & most of my sed target (read: AVOID) gear:

rusa sed target, w/ V-day basket

Wowee, 505 AVOID!!!

In yet another HT run, disaster struck. Sort of. It was actually fine, but I did briefly die…

I was apparently safely rope’d, on the bottom right of the map, for a jump sed. This didn’t last for long, however, as the mid head quickly dispelled. With all of my buffs now gone — particularly Power Stance — it wasn’t long before I was knocked off of my rope. I ended up getting knocked to the left, underneath the right arm. I would almost certainly have been totally fine, if it weren’t for the fact that everyone else also, naturally, got dispelled — it is global, after all. As people started coming down to the bottom-right quadrant of the map to rebuff one another, my sed bishop xEren cast a few buffs on everyone and stood directly on top of me, spamming Heal. I saw a 1⧸1 very clearly lining up to hit me; because I had no horizontal momentum of significance at this point, and was jump-seduced on the bottom floor of the map, it was abundantly clear that the 1⧸1 marker was about to smack me. My Will wasn’t on cooldown, but because xEren was directly on top of me and spamming Heal, I decided that it was a particularly easy situation in which to conserve my Will:

i saw the 1⧸1 coming

Transcription of the above image

[system message]: The EXP did not drop after using the Safety Charm once.(90 days/4 times left)

Bisque: oh

Romilles: im second sed

Bisque: poor deer

rusa: mb i thought you were healing
i saw the 1⧸1 coming
like 3 seconds earlier
but i didnt will cuz heal
nw :P

Right, so, unfortunately, xEren stopped Healing almost exactly at the same frame that the 1⧸1 actually went off, thus killing me instantly as soon as my iframes elapsed. I’m actually not exactly sure how I touched arm, but it’s possible that a thief in my party cast Haste at around that same time (likely, considering that we had all just huddled up); or possibly, the arm briefly moved the bottom of its hitbox downward due to a casting animation (not sure if this is actually possible). In any case, that was what did me in; I really was at 0 HP as soon as my iframes from the 1⧸1 elapsed.

xEren apologised profusely, and started pretty aggressively babysitting me much of the time. AHAHA I mean, I understand. But I will emphasise that I really am not very fragile; I would be lying if I said that I absolutely never die, but when I do, it’s either because I am just an idiot and have a momentary complete mental lapse (who hasn’t lost track of their character and accidentally walked into head at least once before…?), or because of some grossly unlikely, comically elaborate simultaneity like the one that I’ve tried to explain here. And really, being able to see the 1⧸1 markers on the ground (they are fairly conspicuous), and being able to see my HP bar if necessary (e.g. directly above my head) is enough, as my sed bishop. Being a non-shadower sed target, it’s really the 1⧸1s that are out to get me.

srry for the fuck up on the first run

Transcription of the above image

xEren: srry for the fuck up on the first run, promisse [sic] ill do better if we
run agaib [sic]

rusa: ooo yeah its ok ^^

xEren: i would gift you a charm if i could

rusa: aww
no worries haha <3

xEren: <3

In any case, I’ve been trying to get better at attacking heads as much as practically possible, particularly from the left side (for reasons outlined in the previous entry of this diary):

rusa sed target, attacking mid head

Nevertheless, I managed to get a second run with early mass sed as well 🙄:

Early mass again [':

To be clear, I am not doing that much damage to arms. Much of my DPM is sapped by being sed target; I don’t do any damage to speak of whilst seduced (obviously), and wearing some AVOID gear also dampens my DPM a bit as well. And of course, I’m not always attacking arms. It seems to me that — at least, in the runs that I’m on — the more cleave-heavy that the overall lineup gets, the more inevitable it is that some people will sometimes be kinda… whaling on the arms for no real reason. I try to respond to this in obvious ways: hitting arms less when I think that it might be dangerous, trying to look out for arm animations that indicate that they are passing an HP threshold (much more easily said than done), that kind of thing. Nevertheless, shit happens, I guess. I mean, c’mon, someone just let me white an arm out here for once!! F3

Anywho, I did have the pleasure of running with very pro sed bish (and level 200, to boot!) shinning (avocatto). Here, you can see me jump-sed right next to her:

rusa sed target, w/ sed bishop shinning

Fun HT clips!!!

At some point, once I discovered the necessary technology, I started keeping a replay buffer of my HT runs so that I could clip parts that I thought might be interesting or whatever.

Here’s one, with AINTNOWAY as my sed bish, where I narrowly managed to dodge a 1⧸1 before getting jump-sed, followed quickly by mid head deciding to DP

You can see the 1⧸1 markers showing up at the very bottom of the video; this is what I’m reacting to. You can also see that I managed to get off a Dragon Blood before the sed (easier said than done…), and AINTNOWAY was just a bit too slow on the HSh. Both the Dragon Blood and the HSh were quickly dispelled, which is tragic, considering that both have cooldowns (particularly Dragon Blood, with a cooldown of 180 seconds >.<). Although this situation is unfortunate, I did manage to dodge the 1⧸1, so there was no real danger. You’ll also notice that I’m not wearing my sed target outfit, thanks to event cosmetics expiring… 😒

Here’s one where I manage to save myself with a Will:

You can’t see my HP bar in this video, but what actually happened is that the 1⧸1 hit me one or two frames before the sed actually took hold. Thus, what’s happening HP-wise here is as follows:

  1. I pot up to 30k HP.
  2. I get 1⧸1’d, taking me to 30k ⋅ (1 − 0.85) = 4.5k HP.
  3. My autopot instantly kicks in, feeding me a single Ginseng Root, taking me to 4.5k + 30k ⋅ 0.4 = 16.5k HP.
  4. I get seduced in basically the very next frame.
  5. An elementally untyped[2] magic attack hits me for 4 409 damage, taking me to 16.5k − 4 409 = 12 091 HP.
  6. I use Will in anticipation of getting 1⧸1’d a second time.
  7. The 1⧸1 immediately hits me, taking me to 12 091 ⋅ (1 − 0.85) = 1 814 HP!!!
  8. I already Will’d, so I’m not actually in danger; my autopot kicks in normally. 😌

Arguably, I could have avoided the ordeal (in particular, I could have maybe conserved my Will), had I dodged the initial 1⧸1. However, given that I was watching a seduce animation play out, it was very unclear that that was even possible. I think that it ✨technically✨ was, but I would have had to downjump and walk SLIGHTLY to the left, so as to be in between the two markers that you see in the video. Going rightwards would definitely not have helped, as there are 1⧸1 markers there that have been cropped out of the video.

Here’s a clip that I took almost exactly two minutes after the clip above:

You can see that my Will is on cooldown(!), and I’ve just been seduced by a 🥷real sneaky🥷 right arm sed whose animation was half covered up by the right head leaning down. Luckily, I at least saw it in time enough to pot to 100% HP. The reason why my HP appears to go down to 6k as a result of being 1⧸1’d — instead of going down to the expected 4.5k — is because I have Dragon Blood active, and it just so happened to have a heal tick at almost the same time as the 1⧸1 (Dragon Blood’s heal ticks occur once every 4 seconds, and heal for 30k ⋅ 0.05 = 1.5k HP each). I catch another self-heal tick before reaching the right wall of the cave, so by the time that the first falling rock hits me, I’m already at 7.5k HP. You can see reg bish elligrl immediately notices that I’m in danger (and, you know, I did cry for help), but I ended up not getting any help before the seduce had already run its course. But I was fine! Dragon Blood FTW!!

Okay, I think that’s enough HT clips for now…

Footnotes for “Woodwasp”

  1. [↑] *Lark knight? LMAO.
  2. [↑] Yeah, I know that it’s clearly an ice attack, but Nekksawn made it internally untyped specifically to fuck with DK sed targets! I’m being targeted!!! 😠


It’s time for another brief LPQ episode, starring your favourite jorts[1]-clad sorts, the DEX brawler LPQ/EPQ mule!

As always, I came to LPQ to confuse & bewilder the LPQing population:


Transcription of the above image

Coffeer: thanks [for the] party

sorts: tyty!

Coffeer: time to rest

PrinceOfINT: ty

[system message]: ‘Coffeer’ has left the party.

Coffeer: arsenal plays maybe

[system message]: ‘ArsenalFC’ has joined the party.

sorts: all r?

ArsenalFC: nope
we need range

sorts: done

Skug: LOL

PrinceOfINT: sorts is range

During one such LPQ run, I encountered something peculiar during a trip through the thief portal…:

sorts & the “wat.” coin

Do you see it? Just a random 10-meso coin kinda floatin’ there in mid-air, hangin’ out… I like to call these rogue coins “wat?”[2] coins, because that is the appropriate reaction to them.

In any case, I came to LPQ to run with Skug (Dakota, MiIf) the pugilist! We love a pugilist!!:

sorts & Skug vs. Alishar


Footnotes for “jorts”

  1. [↑] Not to be confused with Jorts, the organised labour icon.
  2. [↑] Not to be confused with wat, the type of Buddhist or Hindu temple.

di d͡ʒi pi(z)

You know me. Always crunchin’ those CDs… Maybe some KMs here or there… Never leaving FoGIslander? More like Dangerous Forester, am I right? Maybe there’s somewhere I can grind for a change of pace…

Luckily for me, it’s the V-day event, which means V-day baskets, and it looks like F/P archgish LawdHeComin (AppleBasket, Snel) and DEX WK/pally SwordFurbs (Yoshis, Furbs, Fabiennes) are tryna grind it up. Partly because the HP challenges beta test (see the “Le chapeau de « l’érudit champignon orange »” section above) encourages killing Deep Lūdi monsters, and partly because both LawdHeComin & SwordFurbs naturally deal a whole lot of fire damage, Dual Ghost Pirates (DGPs) are actually a natural choice of monster species to grind: they’re weak to fire, have reasonably low DEF values, and their map (Unbalanced Time) is actually really nice for grinding!

Indeed, the spawn rate in Unbalanced Time is generally impressively high, and it’s like some other Deep Lūdi maps in that the spawns are somewhat independent of one another: to encourage the full respawning of the monsters on a particular platform, it’s not necessary to also clear the other platforms first! This means that, even though the map is huge (particularly vertically), it’s very tractable to grind here as a small party, a duo, or even solo. Plus, there’s a series of intra-map portals that will take you upwards, allowing for more reasonable map navigation.

So, I headed to Unbalanced Time on my daggerlord alces, to do some epic big-party all-odd DGP grindz with F/P STR mage GTOPDEFENDER (rogueinvogue, Wandissimo), STRginner Taima (Yunchang, Boymoder, pilk, Girlmoder), LawdHeComin, & SwordFurbs!!!:

alces, GTOPDEFENDER, Taima, LawdHeComin, & SwordFurbs @ DGPs

And after just two sessions, I hit the big one-two-three on alces 😎:

alces hits level 123~!

I also came to DGPs on my shield bucc tarandus to do some duo DGP grind with SwordFurbs…:

tarandus duoing a V-day basket w/ SwordFurbs @ DGPs

…And later, with LawdHeComin, during which I hit level 121~!:

tara hits level 121~!

And, although we certainly did plenty of DGPs, that’s not the only training spot in Deep Lūdi with some fire-weak doods: there are also Grim Phantom Watches (GPWs), which can be found in Forbidden Time. GPWs are a lot tougher than DGPs, and their map is… a little wonky. Although it’s straightforward to solo it by staying mostly on the bottom floor, and similarly straightforward to duo it by having the second (likely weaker or less “ranged”) PC take the platform just above the floor, trioing it is awkward. This is because, above these two lowest levels of the map, the map gets split into a left & a right side, with two pairs of platforms floating on opposite horizontal extremes of the map, and finally a single pair of platforms with a less extreme (but still nonzero) spacing at the top. In order to get good coverage of “the rest of the map” (meaning anything above the two lowest levels), one must be able to quickly kill small groups or pairs of GPWs, and swiftly rope/fall one’s way around the cycle of half a dozen poorly-placed platforms. This is, needless to say, far less efficient than farming either of the bottom two levels, which are flat and have favourable spawn rates.

At Forbidden Time, I did a V-day basket session in a trio with SwordFurbs and dagger DK daggerknight (Gumby, Kimberly, Jonathan, j0hnny). Although I had never really grinded GPWs for EXP before (mostly just for quests), I decided to take the difficult position of doing “the rest of the map”, whilst SwordFurbs took the bottom floor and daggerknight took the platform immediately above. I figured, as tara, my main mobbing skill is Energy Blast, which naturally targets fewer monsters (4 instead of ≈6) in comparison to e.g. Slash Blast, and I’d also have decent mobility as a buccaneer:

daggerknight, SwordFurbs, & tara trioing GPWs

In the end, it panned out as expected, with my EPH suffering relative to SwordFurbs’s & daggerknight’s. Nevertheless, I was close enough to levelling to begin with, so it was there that I hit level 122~!:

tara hits level 122~!

A lil more bossin’

What, you thought some Suboptibossing and some HTing was gonna be all of the bossing for this entry? Absolutely not!

To start things off, I had the pleasure of doing some more Bergamot duos on my darksterity knight rusa, with shadower Harlez (VigiI, Murhata):

rusa active Berserking @ Bergamot, duoing w/ Harlez

You can see me activating my Berserk in the above image (notice how the horns on my head are red rather than orange). Bergamot is a boss where I think that active Zerk works pretty well: Bergamot’s attacks tend to be relatively infrequent (summoned monsters notwithstanding), and Berga hits hard enough that the extra Zerk damage is noticeable relative to passive Zerking. Of course, there’s the problem of third body seducing with its missiles. I nevertheless find that it’s still possible to active Zerk more or less freely during the third body fight, because my standard strategy is to dodge (read: duck under) all laser bursts and all missiles anyways. If I manage to fuck up, I still have my Hero’s Will.

On the other hand, I had less success actively Zerking whilst duoing a different NT1 boss with Harlez: Nibelung.

rusa active Berserking @ Nibelung, duoing w/ Harlez

Active Zerk works okay during first body, with the usual caveat that it increases risk of death, and probably also increases meso expenditure. Once Nib starts using its giant exploding rocket thingies, however, it becomes too difficult to use effectively, unless my mesos are burning a hole in my pocket. Because actively Zerking disables avoidability mechanics, every rocket will hit me, unless I happen to be iframe’d at the time. The rockets stun, so my only reasonable choice is to either stand on Nib’s body to take touch damage continuously whilst actively Zerked (for iframe purposes), or to just not activate Zerk. Standing on body whilst actively Zerking is really begging to be slain by a pet autopot fail, failure of manual potion inputs to actually register, etc.; and it’s going to be really expensive unless I’m Egg Zerking, which makes things worse by adding more ways to reasonably die, and lowering my DPM slightly. Perhaps active Zerk is worth it for third body, given how hard it hits with the rockets. With first body, it’s easier, but feels unnecessary given that it cannot hit very hard…

In any case, in a more raffley time, it happened by chance that bishop misandrist (a.k.a. bowmaster xRook) got a Scarlion raffle, and so nightlord Beotch and myself flew to Malaysia to help make it happen:

rusa, xRook & misandrist, and Beotch vs. Scarlion

We made short work of it, and I found that I could effectively maximise my Zerk damage for the first two bodies without having to resort to activating Zerk. Because the threshold for maximum passive Zerk damage is <10% (<3k HP at 30k MAXHP), I found that setting my HP autopot threshold to just 5%, and chugging an Archer Elixir, was enough to do the trick.

For a real workout, I once again duoed Nameless Magic Monster (NMM) with marksman xBowtjuhNL (PriestjuhNL):

rusa & xBowtjuhNL duo the Nameless Magic Monster again!

And this time, no Onyx Apples! Just an Energizer and some Ciders! Look, ma, no hands!!

Also with xBowtjuhNL, I duoed a pair of Ravaners on my shield bucc tarandus!:

tarandus & xBowtjuhNL duoing Rav

And finally, another Rav duo — this time with Harlez, on my STR bishop cervid ☺️:

Harlez & cervid vs. Rav

Phewf!! Okay, that’s all for now… [:

rusa is a big girl now.

You may have seen rusa is a STRless warrior., the first video on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel in which my now-darksterity knight rusa made an appearance. I started recording rusa soloing bosses when she was just level 31, and the aforementioned video catalogues the boss fight solos that she did up to level 90 or so. Later, I posted her level 120 party video, rusa is a darksterity knight. Just after the end of the 2021 summer event in MapleLegends, I posted rusa solos BPQ (but not the last stage), which had rusa soloing BPQ (a.k.a. BRPQ, or simply Boss Rush), culminating in killing Leviathan within the time limit. I have also posted various other videos of rusa on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel, all of which have also made an appearance here in this diary.

In honour of rusa getting close to the big level 180(!!!), I started doing some more recordings of rusa soloing bosses. Of course, the bosses were much, much more powerful this time!

📺 You can watch rusa is a big girl now. here, on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel!!! 📺

rusa is a big girl now. <a rel="nofollow noreferrer" href="">

Chronological index of rusa is a big girl now.

Part I: Le Temple du Temps

Part I: Le Temple du Temps

Part II: Cryptozoology

Part II: Cryptozoology

Part III: Ravulatus

Part III: Ravulatus

Part IV: A tour of Japan

Part IV: A tour of Japan

rusa kills the Bergamot!!!!!


Animated portrait of rusa

Also featured in rusa is a big girl now. is an absolutely stunning animated portrait of rusa, made by Slime (OmokTeacher, Thinks, JumpQuest, Slimu) in preparation for rusa hitting 180!!!:

Slime — untitled animated portrait of rusa

I was absolutely shook when Slime surprised me with this one. Not only is it an amazing interpretation of rusa’s look, but it’s even set inside of The Path of Glittering Crystal[1], the map that the album cover of rusa’s Theme was shot in! [':


Footnotes for “rusa is a big girl now.”

  1. [↑] Which leads to The Other Dimension, where rusa fought Dances with Balrog’s Clone to become a DEXgon knight. [:

tarandus’s Theme

In pt. lxxx of this diary, I talked about the musical theme that I wrote for my I/L archmagelet cervine: cervine’s Theme. And, in pt. xcvi of this diary, I talked about the musical theme that I wrote for my daggerlord alces: alces’s Theme. These are not the only musical themes that I’ve written for my MapleStory characters: there’s also rusa’s Theme, capreolina’s Theme, & cervid’s Theme. However, I didn’t start writing about these themes in my diary until cervine’s. As seen above, my pugilist tarandus is now a bucc!! So, naturally, I needed to write a theme for her as well.

If you plan on reading this section (big if…), then I recommend at least skimming the “cervine’s Theme” section of pt. lxxx; I won’t be explicitly going over some of the concepts that I already did in that piece. That is, you may desire to use the past sections on cervine’s Theme and alces’s Theme as references. Unlike with cervine’s Theme, and like with alces’s Theme, I’m not writing this as I write the piece; instead, I’ve completed the piece in its entirety, and I’m writing about it after the fact.

Percussive “palmistry”

Because tara is a pugilist — i.e. a pirate (typically a brawler/marauder/bucc, as in this case) who refuses to use weapons, instead relying on bare hands/feet — some of the conceptual (Tonsdichtung…?) material is pretty obvious. We have the hands, the fists; we have the physical, fleshy beating thereof; we have the virtual palmistry of the number ✨5️⃣✨; and so on. tarandus’s Theme incorporates all of these things in various ways.

Of course, there’s also the whole “pirate” aspect. Because piracy occurs at sea[1], one is tempted to musically associate the pirate with the sea shanty. Because sea shanties are essentially work songs accompanying the rhythm of heavy manual labour that would involve all four limbs, the only musical instrument available to the sea shanty is the human voice. Although this is pretty cool, it unfortunately doesn’t really work for my medium — namely, using MuseScore’s built-in audio playback to create videogame music.

Nevertheless, I did manage to come up with one or two points of musical inspiration that were slightly more relevant. When trying to think of pieces that evoked a “seafaring” vibe to me, my first thought was… uhm… a piece that is literally titled “Seafarer”. I know, I’m a genius. In any case, Tigran Hamasyan’s[2] “Seafarer” — the sixth track on his Shadow Theater (2013; Verve) — is a somewhat downtempo ballad that does feature vocals quite prominently, but is ultimately driven by something else: a boomy bass drum & a double bass played pizzicato. The leisurely oscillation between two bass notes (each underpinning one of two tonal regions) is made timbrally large by the booming bass drum; combined with the gentle, relatively slow clanking of the drumstick against the snare rim[3] during the calmer portions, the sonic effect is one of a ship rocking back & forth on the sea.

The other piece is less directly related, but I think that it’s a really good model in general, for the kind of music that I’m attempting to create when I do these themes for my characters. The theme to the Alfons Åberg cartoons, by Georg Riedel, is simple in the sort of way that is appealing for the theme music to some children’s programming from the 1980s[4]. At the same time, this theme manages to pack an honestly huge amount of material into a runtime of just 24 seconds. This is impressive work for something that nevertheless manages to sound warm & friendly the entire way through! Like “Seafarer”, this theme makes prominent use of a double bass being played pizzicato, which should come as no surprise given that Riedel himself is an accomplished double bassist.

Footnotes for “Percussive ‘palmistry’”

  1. [↑] Contrary to popular belief, “piracy” does not occur over the internet, although such terminology sure does make the simple act of sharing unconfidential information sound quite glamorous…
  2. [↑] Տիգրան Համասյան; Eastern Armenian /tigɾɑn hɑmɑsjɑn/.
  3. [↑] I can’t be entirely sure that it’s the snare rim specifically, but it’s definitely some solid (read: not hollow, no drumhead) bit of a drumkit that is a rim, or a stand.
  4. [↑] The original run of Alfons Åberg was in the 1980s, but it was aired well beyond this point due to repeats, and localisations for various countries like the UK, the Czech Republic, Norway, etc.

Double Uppercut bass

So, now that I’ve doubly mentioned the double bass, I guess I have no choice but to start with that…

tarandus’s Theme: main motif

In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: main motif
I:linebreak $
V:1 bass transpose=-12 nm="Contrabass" snm="Cb."
"^pizz." C, z/ C,/ G,_B,G,_D, F,_A,B,C | C, z/ C,/ G,_B,G,_D,3/2F,3/2 _A,>C ||

These are the first two measures of the piece, and they contain the basic thematic material for the entire piece! As mentioned in the “Percussive ‘palmistry’” section above, the number ✨5️⃣✨ is put on display here. Rather than a more usual time signature such as 3⁄4 or 4⁄4, we have ✨5️⃣✨⧸4! And, although you wouldn’t really be able to tell just by listening, I also chose ✨1️⃣2️⃣5️⃣✨ BPM, a.k.a. ✨5️⃣✨ 🧊cubed🧊 BPM.

This bassline is fairly traditional in that it consists only of one note at a time (i.e. it’s a proper melody), and it outlines a sequence of one or more tonal regions. These two measures are really just a single measure that has been repeated with a rhythmic variation the second time: whereas the last ✨5️⃣✨ eighth notes’ worth of the first measure are just that — ✨5️⃣✨ eighth notes — the same temporal region of the second measure is instead divided into dotted eighth notes, which does not evenly divide up the region[1]. As a result, the final note is not a dotted eighth note, but instead just a third of that: a sixteenth note.

To see what tonal regions we’re dealing with here, we can take the first measure and reduce it to pretty much just its pitch material; this reduction will apply equally well to the second measure, as the second measure only meaningfully differs rhythmically. Then, we can look at it from a tonal perspective, analysing it as a sequence of exactly two tonal regions, like so:

Tonal reduction of the main motif

In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: tonal reduction of the main motif
I:linebreak $
V:1 clef=bass transpose=-12
"^C−7𝗇𝗈3" "_(G−⧸C)" C,2- [C,G,_B,]3 "^D♭(∆7)" _D,2- [D,F,_A,]3 ||

By making the pitches vertical, they look & sound more like chords, rather than the melodic arpeggio-looking things that they were before. The chords are spelled like so (spelling in ascending order of pitch):

  1. ⟨C, G, B♭⟩.
  2. ⟨D♭, F, A♭⟩.

With this information, we can try naming the chords, like so (refer to the “Roman numeral analysis legend” in pt. lxxx):

  1. C−7𝗇𝗈3 OR G−⧸C.
  2. D♭(∆7).

The “C−7𝗇𝗈3” naming is based on the fact that we could insert a sneaky lil E♭ in between the C and the G, and we’d end up with a very ordinary C−7 chord in root position. The “𝗇𝗈3” indicates that the third of the chord (E♭) is not actually there. The “OR” here is not an exclusive or, as multiple analyses of the same thing often coexist and can be played upon separately in different contexts. The “G−⧸C” analysis is a bit weird as it has just three chord factors: the root, the third, and the perfect fourth (eleventh). This is, purely theoretically, in fifth inversion, insofar as the eleventh is in the bass. But really, I’ve just picked out this analysis because it’s the only way to have a third factor in the chord, which I generally consider to be “the most important/defining” chord factor in typical Western tonal music.

The ⟨D♭, F, A♭⟩ is much more straightforward: a D♭ major chord in root position. The actual melody also contains the sixth (thirteenth) and the seventh, so I’ve put “(∆7)” to indicate that it’s a major seventh chord.

The fundamental tension here is clear: it’s between the two bass notes, C and D♭. These pitches are separated by a minor second, which is basically[2] the smallest interval. That’s where the tension comes from!

What’s less clear is what key we’re in here. I’ve written everything with no key signature, but if it had a key signature, it would definitely have at least one flat, putting us somewhere on the flat side of the circle of fifths. To locate ourselves more precisely, we can take a look at the set of all pitch classes that we’ve seen so far:

{C, D♭, F, G, A♭, B♭}.

That’s almost enough for a whole diatonic scale! We’re just missing some kind of “E”. If we add in an E♭, we end up with C Phrygian, and more generally, any mode of A♭ major — the key of four flats. This also includes D♭ Lydian and F minor. If we add an E♮ instead, F minor becomes F harmonic minor, modes of which include C Phrygian dominant, D♭ Lydian ♯2, and A♭ Ionian ♯5. Importantly, adding E♮ instead of E♭ would change the C−7 to a C7. Furthermore, neither of the chords here are the tonic of any major or minor key. Instead, the chord on C serves a kind of tonic function[3].

Footnotes for “Double Uppercut bass”

  1. [↑] This is because 3 does not divide 10. Indeed, 3 and 10 are coprime, so such a temporal division would only “line up properly” after 3 ⋅ 10 = 30 sixteenth notes’ = 15 eighth notes’ = ✨5️⃣✨ dotted quarter notes’ worth of time.
  2. [↑] Assuming 12-EDO, and not counting any intervals that are enharmonic with the perfect unison.
  3. [↑] As discussed in the sections on cervine’s Theme and alces’s Theme, the chord on the third degree (the mediant) of a key is typically ambiguous, and can be effectively used in Western tonal music as either a tonic or a dominant. See, for example, the functional theory of Diether de la Motte /diːtɐ də la mɔtə/.

A little build-up

As soon as we’ve heard the double bass play the melody once, it is doubled by a piano (playing staccato), which is a technique that I’ve used before, in capreolina’s Theme. I really love the sound of a double bass being played pizz., and it is quite a rich timbre due to the inharmonicity produced by plucking. With that being said, it is surprisingly difficult[1] to get this timbre to cut through a mix. There are many & various ways of approaching this issue, and some of them are not available to me due to my choice of medium. Nevertheless, doubling with a piano produces a good (at least, I really like it) timbral blend that makes the melody feel present throughout the mix.

At the same time, a drumkit is introduced. Oh, you thought we were going to go for an entire piece without a drumkit part? Nice try. The kit plays straight quarter notes on the hi-hat foot pedal, and initially intentionally avoids the use of the snare. Instead, we get some kick drum hits emphasising certain notes in the bassline. However, it is at this point that a new percussive element is introduced: a tambourine part. At this point, the tambourine only emphasises the downbeat. However, it will become more important later on.

We then introduce a bit of snare play, and are suddenly launched into the main section of the piece…

Footnotes for “A little build-up”

  1. [↑] Big sigh.

What kind of pluckery is this?

The main section of the piece maintains the bassline, including the piano doubling. In addition, however, we now have a fully-fledged drumkit part, a tripling of the bassline on harpsichord, a leading melody playing on the harpsichord & piano, and duelling tambourine & hand claps. Whew!

The drumkit part

The tambourine & hand clap parts are not introduced right away, however, so let’s first take a look at the drumkit part. I’m not going to go over every single drumkit section of the piece, but this one is of particular importance:[1]

Drumkit part of the main section

In drum tablature
  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 +

Refer to the drum tablature legend in pt. lxxx.

The cymbals in this drumkit part mostly consist of straight quarter notes on the ride cymbal. However, as we get to the second half of the second measure, there is a switch to open hi-hat hits emphasising the dotted eighth notes in the bassline. The kick drum part, however, actually makes use of dotted eighth notes throughout. In particular, you can clearly hear the three dotted eighth notes that begin each measure. The snare part actually is tied to the kick drum part, either filling in the space between kick drum hits, or echoing each kick drum hit by placing a snare hit on the sixteenth note immediately following it. The ultimate result is a highly syncopated drumkit part that has some feeling of hemiola.

The harpsichord part

This part introduces a harpsichord, which introduces the crucial question of: what… is a harpsichord? Good question! A harpsichord (Hornbostel–Sachs 314.122-6-8) is kinda like a piano, except that instead of striking the strings with felt-covered hammers, it plucks them. With a plectrum. As a result, the sound is pluckier (duh) and brighter, and the harpsichord player has little or no control over the dynamics of their playing. The lack of dynamics is due to the fact that the plectra are controlled via a keyboard and operate mechanically; either the plectrum moves past the string and thus plucks it, or it doesn’t. As it happens, this is the origin of the name piano: a clipping of pianoforte (also fortepiano), which itself is from the instrument being capable of playing softly (piano) or loudly (forte), as contrasted with the earlier harpsichord. The harpsichord was invented in Europe some time during the early 15th century, but the pianoforte did not show up until roughly three centuries later in circa 1700, when it was invented by some other European guy named Bartolomeo Cristofori /bartoloˈmɛːo kriˈstɔːfori/.

Nevertheless, harpsichords are still used to this day. They are unique instruments in their own right, and come in many varieties, including the virginals (often associated with English early music) & the spinet (this term is also applied to similarly-constructed pianos). Harpsichords are naturally attractive for historically-informed performance, but also continue to be used — albeit occasionally — in modern Western art music and even popular music.

So, fuck it. Here’s a melody for the harpsichord (& piano) to play:

Main harpsichord melody

In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: main harpsichord melody
I:linebreak $
e2 z2{/f} g2 z2 e2 z2 _A2c2_d2 z2 | (efec d).c2c ._B2.B2>(c2_dc _AGBc) |
d2f3c3 dc z d ._B2c_A z _d.c2 | ._B2>c2 .e2(cd cB)(e_d ef) z (f efgf) ||

I’ve annotated the melody with scale degrees, relative to the C (written in blue) or D♭ (written in red) tonal regions, and spelled relative to a major scale whose tonic is the root of the region (e.g. a natural minor scale would be {1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7}).

Already in the very first note of the melody, we have the fabled “E”. And it is an E♮! Thus, we would re-analyse this region as C7. We also see quite a few “D”s played over the C7 region, and these are consistently D♮ (the major ninth), rather than the D♭ (the minor ninth) that you’d expect if the C & D♭ regions shared some kind of common scale. Indeed, all notes of the melody that are played over the C7 region are members of C Mixolydian, which is the only diatonic mode (but most certainly not the only mode in general) associated with C7.

Over the D♭∆7 region, almost all notes are members of D♭ Lydian ♯2, the 6th mode of harmonic minor, as discussed previously. If we were so inclined as to write this entire scale as a chord, we’d end up with D♭∆13♯9♯11. But wait… almost…? All notes? Well, yes, there is the slight issue of the 6th note of measure 3: a D♮ of sixteenth note duration. At first, this might seem like an error! What is that cross-relation doing with the D♭ in the bass?!? If one “fixes” this cross-relation by lowering the D♮ to D♭, I’m actually not a huge fan of how it sounds. Although the D♮ does technically exist in a cross-relation here[2], we can also think of it as a holdover from the C7 region, which only just ended. Furthermore, we can think of the D♮ as being a kind of alteration that fills in the augmented second present in the harmonic minor scale. The diatonic scale has intervals between adjacent notes of just major seconds and minor seconds, making the augmented second look unnaturally large by comparison. Of course, there’s actually no way to add notes within this augmented second to fill it out without causing a virtual cross-relation[3], but we’re just out here not giving a shit. 🤷🏽‍♀️

In any case, now that we have a lot more pitch material to work with, we can much more clearly see what’s going on here:

Thus, the tonal palette here is basically confused, but closely related to something between F major and F minor. This makes additional sense insofar as F harmonic minor can be thought of in terms of modal mixture: the leading E♮ is “borrowed” from the parallel F major. Under this lens, we get a Roman numeral analysis that looks something like:

V7 – ♭VI∆7♯11.

Assuming this Roman numeral analysis, we functionally have this, in the key (not particularly minor nor major) of F:

Dominant – subdominant.

…Which would seem to imply a kind of neverending cadence that is indefinitely extended by the repeated alternation between dominant & subdominant. This is not a bad analysis in my opinion, as it does reflect how it feels to me subjectively when listening to the piece.

This particular analysis is greatly bolstered by the fact that we never hear an “A” of any kind during the “V7” region. Indeed, it’s the only degree that we don’t hear. This eliminates the possibility of it being “I” (in second inversion) or “vi” (in third inversion), either of which may imply a tonic function.

The bare hand

Later in this same section, we add in the real tambourine and hand clap parts:

The first hand clap & tambourine parts

In drum tablature

Using C to mean “hand clap” and T to mean “tambourine”:

  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 +

As you can see, the tambourine largely mirrors the cymbal usage in the drumkit part: mostly straight quarter notes, switching to the dotted eighth note pattern only for the second half of the second measure.

On the other hand (hehe hoho), the hand claps are doing something quite a bit wonkier. The essential pattern is as follows (using drum-tablature-like notation, with the sixteenth note as the basic duration):


As you can see, this pattern is exactly ✨5️⃣✨ sixteenth notes long. Thus, it naturally evenly divides up each measure into four equal parts, providing a 4∶✨5️⃣✨ polyrhythm against the tambourine and drumkit parts. The hand clap part performs a similar manoeuvre to that of the tambourine, switching to a pattern of three sixteenth notes by the second half of the second measure. To do so smoothly, the hand clap part exploits the fact that its main pattern effectively ends with a dotted eighth note anyways, using this to bridge the gap.

Because of the drumkit part (particularly the kick drum), we actually briefly have a 3∶4∶✨5️⃣✨ polyrhythm for the first half of every measure. Wowers! This is largely a reflection of the fact that tarandus’s Theme is as focused on the percussive elements as it is the rest — and, for that matter, on the use of ✨5️⃣✨ — in keeping with the “pugilist” concept.

Footnotes for “What kind of pluckery is this?”

  1. [↑] As in previous diary entries, all notational conventions for drumkit used throughout this document are adapted from Audio Graffiti’s Guide to Drum & Percussion Notation (2004) (archived), which is based on Norman Weinberg’s Guide to Standardized Drumset Notation (2002; 1998). I include two deviations:

    • Denoting open hi-hat hits by circling the notehead, rather than having an open circle just above the notehead.
    • Denoting hits of the ride bell by lozenge-shaped noteheads, rather than by a graphical illustration above the note.
  2. [↑] Particularly because C is a common tone between the two tonal regions, thus producing {C, D♭, D♮} here, which is a Forte 3-1.

  3. [↑] Again, considering any Forte 3-1 to implicitly be necessarily cross-relational. The lower bit of the augmented second (the D♭) has a “leading-tone” of C immediately below it, and the upper bit (the E♮) is a “leading-tone” to the F♮ immediately above. Thus, filling in the D♮ and/or the D♯/E♭ necessarily gets you the 3-1. There’s a theoretical sense in which this is mathematically necessary for a heptatonic (or larger) scale in 12-EDO, and thus the notion is implicit in the mere use of augmented seconds in 12-EDO tonal music — or rather, that’s what it means for it to be an augmented second instead of “just a minor third”… — but we’re not getting into that. I’m sure that you can figure it out.

Chiasmus (battle of the dots)

The harpsichord melody discussed in the above section is four measures long, thus spanning exactly two instances of the main bassline motif. When transitioning out of this first (“A”) section that introduces the harpsichord, the final iteration lasts for only two measures, halving and altering the melody slightly through some melodic & rhythmic sleight-of-hand to transition into a kind of “B” section. The first four measures of the B section, which can be considered part of the A → B transition, look roughly as follows:

Transition from A section to B section

In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: initial B section (transitional)
%%score 1 2
I:linebreak $
V:1 bass nm="Harpsichord" snm="Hch."
V:2 bass transpose=-12 nm="Contrabass" snm="Cb."
._D,.F,._A, ._B,.C | ._D,.F,._A, ._B,.C |
.A,,3/2.C,3/2 .E,>G, | .A,,3/2.C,3/2 .E,>G, ||
._D,3/2.F,3/2 ._A,>C | ._D,3/2.F,3/2 ._A,>C |
.A,,.C,.E, .F,.G, | .A,,.C,.E, .F,.G, ||

Here, the main motif has been re-imagined, taking only the ascending arpeggio part as a melodic guide. Accordingly, the time signature has been halved to ✨5️⃣✨⧸8. Furthermore, the tonal regions are basically swapped in their order: D♭∆7 is first, followed by a new version of the “C7” region. This new version of the C7 region finally makes the A♮ explicit, and indeed, it actually pretty straightforwardly outlines an A−7 in root position. Thus, we have:

D♭∆7 – A−7.

Or, from F:

♭VI∆7 – iii−7.

Which is, functionally, either:

Again, a mediant chord like iii−7 is functionally ambiguous. In this case, I am more tempted to think of it as having a tonic function (the former option), both because that would make it the only tonic function present, and because it explicitly makes use of an F♮ (making it iii−13, in some sense) — albeit arguably only “in passing”.

More interesting is what’s going on rhythmically here. The harpsichord part starts with straight eighth notes for the first two measures (the D♭∆7 measures), and then switches to dotted eighth notes — ending each such measure with a single undotted sixteenth note as a result — for the latter two measures (the A−7 measures). The contrabass part (and thus also the piano part, as it continues to be doubled), however, does the opposite: dotted eighth notes for the former two measures, and straight eighth notes for the latter two measures. This produces a chiasmus structure between the two parts, where opposing poles of the chiasmus are made to temporally overlap, thus being heard simultaneously (using t to denote time):

t = 0   1
  | X | Y |
  | Y | X |
t = 0   1

This is to be contrasted with the traditional use of “chiasmus” in the context of rhetoric, where it must be one-dimensionalised to fit the linearity of the text:

t = 0   1   2   3
  | X | Y | Y | X |
t = 0   1   2   3

The two-dimensional chiasmus is the driving force of the B section of tarandus’s Theme, and the tambourine & hand clap parts display the same chiastic opposition. In this case, the tambourine takes the side of the harpsichord, and the hand claps take the side of the double bass. Moreover, in the drumkit part, the kick drum and (most of) the cymbals take the side of the double bass, and the hi-hat pedal takes the side of the harpsichord.

The upper melody

In addition, we have a melody line placed on top, played in unison by both the harpsichord & the piano:

Lead melody of the B section

In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: lead melody of the B section
I:linebreak $
{/_e} f2e2_d2 f2c2 | (_efe)(_ded) (cdc)_B | (ec2)(dA2) (cG2)(d |
A2){/d}e2f2{/d} e2g2 ||

This melody is much more highly structured than the lead melody from the A section. The lead melody of the A section was largely free-flowing over the course of its four measures, whereas we now have a tighter rhythmic structure compressed to just half of the duration (same number of measures, but ✨5️⃣✨⧸8 instead of ✨5️⃣✨⧸4).

With the exception of a single grace note, we have straight eighth notes filling the first measure, split into two strictly descending sections that make the metre (3+2)⧸8. Then, in the second measure, we clearly exhibit the dotted eighth note regime, with a triple of upper-mordent-like groups of three sixteenth notes each, and ending with a single sixteenth note to fill out the rest of the measure. The third measure (which is now in the A−7 region) continues the dotted eighth note regime, alternating between a single sixteenth note and a single eighth note, with each such pair making a strictly descending sequence internally. This particular sixteenth–eighth note pair pattern lends itself well to the problem of 3 not evenly dividing 10: that “left over” sixteenth note at the end of the third measure becomes the beginning of yet another such sixteenth–eighth note pair, which smoothly transitions to the fourth & final measure. The fourth measure is once again just straight eighth notes, with the exception of two grace notes.

Thus, this melody also exhibits the same rhythmic chiasmus, but this time one-dimensionalised into ⟨X, Y, Y, X⟩.

Tonally, we would naïvely expect that although we’ve sorta mutated the “C7” region into “A−7”, the D♭∆7 is basically tonally unchanged from the A section. But we’d be wrong! E♭ shows up quite prominently in the first two measures of this melody; indeed, it’s even the first pitch in the entire melody. This would be the major ninth (major second) of D♭∆7, not the expected augmented ninth. So we’ve gone from D♭ Lydian ♯2 to just D♭ Lydian. Actually, there are no “G”s here, so it could ambiguously also be D♭ major. This eliminates E♮ as a possible common tone between the two regions, with one region now preferring the flat, and one preferring the natural.

The lurch before the shipwreck

We then have a kind of C section, which is mostly just this bassline:

C section material

In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: C section material
I:linebreak $
V:1 clef=bass
        .[_D,,_D,]3.[F,,F,]3 .[_A,,_A,]2>.[C,C]2 |
[M:6/8] .[_D,,_D,]3.[F,,F,]3 .[_A,,_A,]3.[C,C]3  |
[M:5/8] .[A,,,A,,]3.[C,,C,]3 .[E,,E,]2>.[G,,G,]2 |
[M:6/8] .[A,,,A,,]3.[C,,C,]3 .[E,,E,]3.[G,,G,]3  ||

Previously, we were frequently filling up measures of ✨5️⃣✨⧸8 with dotted eighth notes or equivalent, starting at the beginning of the measure. This leads to the single “left over” sixteenth note at the end. By rhythmically augmenting this “left over” note to a fully-fledged dotted eighth note, we add an undotted eighth note’s worth of duration. One way of doing this is through rhythmic deception, as in the transition between mm. 3 & 4 of the lead melody of the B section. Another way is to actually augment the measure itself far enough to do this without crossing the barline. The result is generally a measure of 6⁄8, which is why this bassline is alternating between ✨5️⃣✨⧸8 and 6⁄8. We start with the original jagged-sounding ✨5️⃣✨⧸8 version, and then do the same thing again, but this time actually allowing the phrase to complete in full dotted eighth notes. The result is effectively a hypermetre of 11⁄8.

You’ll also notice that the bassline is now doubled at the octave. This is true for both the piano and the harpsichord parts, although the double bass continues playing single notes, as you’d expect. This is an orchestration decision that is intended to fill in some of the sonic gap left by no longer having a “leading melody” playing over the top of the bassline.

The tambourine & hand clapping parts now play in unison with one another, and in unison with the bassline. The only part whose rhythm is left independent of this regime is the hi-hat foot pedal presses in the drumkit part, which proceed in straight eighth notes, maintaining the distinct hemiola feel.

Other than that, this C section of the piece is stripped down to its most basic, bare components. Like the B section, but unlike the A section, we dispose of other melodic material in the bassline that isn’t just the ascending arpeggio. Unlike the first two sections, however, the C section has no leading melody; all that is left is the bare maintenance of the two opposing tonal regions, and more importantly, the sheer brutal lurching[1] of the 5⁄8–6⁄8 transitions.

The shipwreck

tarandus’s Theme concludes with a two-measure codetta that continues the rhythm of the C section:


In ABC notation
T:tarandus’s Theme: codetta
I:linebreak $
V:1 clef=bass
"_con forza" .[_D,,_A,,C,F,G,]3.[D,,A,,C,F,G,]3
.[D,,A,,C,F,G,]2>.[D,,A,,C,F,G,]2 |[M:6/8] .[_D,,_A,,C,F,G,]3.[D,,A,,C,F,G,]3
.[D,,A,,C,F,G,]3.[D,,A,,C,F,G,]3 |]

At this point, finally, every single part in the entire piece plays in unison. The drumkit part slams on the kick drum, floor tom, and China cymbal all at once, whilst the piano & harpsichord parts slam on the chord that you see above. The chord is voiced as follows (in ascending order of pitch):

⟨D♭, A♭, C, F, G⟩ (⟨0, 7, 11, 4, 6⟩).

This is straightforwardly a D♭∆7♯11 in root position[2]. The F and G at the top of the voicing, separated by only a major second, give it a good bit of “crunch”.

Although this ending is somewhat stormy, I think that it does a good job of maintaining “loopability”, so to speak. Because we end with a 6⁄8 measure, there’s an entire dotted eighth note’s worth of temporal room before looping back to measure 1 of the piece. Like with the other themes that I’ve written for my MapleStory characters, I’m concerned with how the theme sounds when looped repeatedly with itself, starting over at the beginning of the piece immediately after the end. This is a desire shared generally with background music in MapleStory; you know, the kind that plays depending on what map that you happen to be in.

Footnotes for “The lurch before the shipwreck”

  1. [↑] The English lurch /lɜː(ɹ)tʃ/ was originally lee-larches (mid-18th c.). Both were nautical terms in reference to the sudden leeward roll of a ship upon being struck by a large wave. The exact further etymology is uncertain, but it might be from the French lâcher /laʃe/ “to release, let go”, from Latin laxus /ˈlak.sus/ “loose, slack, yielding; spacious, roomy”, which would make it ultimately a doublet of slack /slæk/ via the PIE *slēg- “to be slack, languid”.
  2. [↑] Particularly, a “drop 2”-style voicing with the fifth factor being the second-lowest pitch.

The finished piece

You can get the full score of the piece here: tarandus-s_Theme.mscz (mirror).

You can obtain a recorded version of the piece (recorded using MuseScore’s built-in soundfont and mixer, as with all of the other themes) on my bandcamp™ page, and you can also hear it in tarandus’s level 120 party video on the Oddjobs YouTube™ channel. Also check out the “audio” section of my personal website.

tarandus’s Theme, like other parts of my diary, is licenced under the CC BY-SA 4.0+.



sorts: ready spaghetti, ruder spagooters

the feature we really need

Transcription of the above image

rusa: ya
just mute me
can u mute spouse chat

Harlez: you cannot

rusa: thatd be so funny

Harlez: there is specifically not an option for it

rusa: and by funny i mean tragic

Harlez: i agree
i should post that as a request though

rusa: :[

Harlez: the feature we really need

rusa: LOL

i am from vancouver

Transcription of the above image

nendo: i am from vancouver

Jestterz: same

fuwari: nice

nendo: lol
i think nearly every asians [sic] in vancouver play maple<

Jestterz: im white

nendo: oh

Jestterz: but asian things interest me

nendo: an exception
why are you a beginner
of all things
do you enjoy the eastern punishment
grinding forever without skills

d34r: LMFAO

Jestterz: ye

oh my pally only level 32

Transcription of the above image

ToasTea: oh my pally only level 32

rusa: thats called a page f3

ToasTea: deer, its a pally at heart

rusa: rofl

Kiarath: its actually a warrior

ToasTea: lmao i dunno if i did the 2nd job adv

rusa: ahaha


Transcription of the above image

Level1Crook: fog is better by merit of soundtrack

tarandus: fog is better than every map
that just goes w/o saying

LawdHeComin: *nervous sweating
i have never heard the music in it

Level1Crook: if you disagree you are executed jason

LawdHeComin: oh stonks
then i dont have to work

tarandus: stomks

Level1Crook: mood

“Negative buffs”, courtesy of Mott